CBS Local – San Francisco:
Kaiser Oakland Medical Center Employee Omicron Outbreak Linked To Wisconsin Wedding
A number of staff members at Kaiser’s Oakland Medical Center have tested positive for the new Omicron COVID variant. They did not get sick at work, but instead tested positive after all 11 attended a wedding in Wisconsin at the end of November.
Interestingly, all had been vaccinated and had a booster shot, but still got sick. Their symptoms are described as mild and none have been hospitalized.
The news comes on the same day that Pfizer released new data about how effective their vaccine is against Omicron.
Dr. John Swartzberg, an infectious disease expert at UC Berkeley, said he was encouraged by the information released on Wednesday by Pfizer. A preliminary study shows the initial two shots of the vaccine appear to be much less effective against Omicron than other variants, but a booster dose offers significantly more protection.
“Protection really means it’s going to protect you against getting hospitalized or dying,” Swartzberg said.
EDITOR’S NOTE – Or maybe this means the Omicron variant is not very virulent
According to the CDC, nationwide only about 25% of people who are eligible for a booster shot have gotten one. COVID hospitalizations jumped up 30% in the past month – all due to the Delta variant.
“While Omicron is getting all the press, Delta is our biggest worry right now,” Swartzberg said.
He says the best say to be safe while gathering for the holidays is to keep it small – immediate friends and family only – skip the larger holiday parties, especially if they’re indoors, and go get a booster shot if eligible.
“What we do to prevent Delta is going to be the same things we do to prevent Omicron,” he said.