The omicron variant is showing up all over the world and now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a report outlining what is known so far about the new variant.
The CDC report found that the majority of Americans who have been infected with omicron were actually already vaccinated.
“Among these  cases of COVID-19 attributed to the Omicron variant, 34 (79%) occurred in persons who completed the primary series of an FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine ≥14 days before symptom onset or receipt of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result,” the report noted.
This figure included 14 individuals, or nearly a third, who had also received an additional or booster dose of the vaccine.
Twenty-two states have already reported at least one case of the omicron variant.
South Africa was the first country to alert the rest of the world to the existence of omicron in November, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Since then the variant has been showing up in Europe, the U.K. and the United States.
Currently, the U.K. has the most cases of the omicron variant, and the rest of the world is observing how the country is handling the new crisis.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson began reimposing some COVID restrictions on the country in order to stop the spread of omicron, the Journal reported.
“We are seeing growth in cases here in the U.K. that now mirrors the rapid increases previously seen in South Africa. And South Africa has also seen hospitalizations roughly doubling in a week,” the prime minister said.
The Biden administration similarly has begun encouraging new measures to protect Americans against the variant.
“Mr. Biden’s top Covid-19 advisers have sought to emphasize that existing vaccines and boosters should provide sufficient protection against the variant,” the Journal reported.
This encouragement to vaccinate and get the booster shot though may not be effective now that the CDC has informed us that nearly 80 percent of those who contracted omicron were vaccinated.
But Pfizer and BioNTech have announced that their booster will indeed protect against the variant, The New York Times reported.
“The companies said that tests of blood from people who had received only two doses found much lower levels of antibodies protecting against Omicron than against an earlier version of the virus. That suggests that two doses ‘may not be sufficient to protect against infection’ by the new variant, the companies said,” the Times reported.
However, Pfizer and BioNTech did not release any of their data with this announcement.
President Joe Biden called Pfizer and BioNTech’s findings “very, very encouraging.”
“If you get the booster, you’re really in good shape,” Biden said. But the CDC’s data does not seem to support this.