The omicron variant of COVID-19 has caused infections to surge in the United States. “The variant has changed, and it’s now become a pandemic of the vaccinated and the unvaccinated,” Straight Arrow medical expert and cardiologist Dr. Payal Kohli said.
And according to the nation’s top doc, the United States has not yet reached a national peak of the omicron variant. “We shouldn’t expect a national peak in the next coming days — the next few weeks will be tough,” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy said Sunday on CNN.
Military doctors and nurses are helping staff overrun hospitals in several states. President Joe Biden said the hospitals are “overrun and overworked because of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients,” adding that this continues to be a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”.
“Coronavirus all along has been a pandemic of the unvaccinated, which means that those that are vaccinated are largely protected from getting super sick, getting into the hospital, getting into the intensive care unit; whereas those that are unvaccinated are doing much more poorly,” Dr. Kohli said. “But the omicron variant has perhaps made this disparity even more dramatic because we’re really seeing that most vaccinated, boosted people are just having a cold at home with the omicron variant; whereas a lot of unvaccinated people are still getting critically ill, and we’ve even had some omicron deaths occur.”
“The variant has changed, and it’s now become a pandemic of the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, meaning that we are getting more breakthrough cases with omicron than we ever had with any previous variant before,” Dr. Kohli said. “But again, those unvaccinated seem to have the worst outcomes. So really, the biggest risk falls on those unvaccinated. And I do hope over the next several months we can shrink that proportion of the population and get more and more of us vaccinated.”