What Should I Know About Breakthrough Omicron Infections?

“Breakthrough” infections weren’t very common at all a few months ago. During the initial strain of COVID-19 and even during the delta variant, the CDC stated that breakthrough infections would be unlikely. With omicron, though, this is not the case. Why is that?

Our AFC Urgent Care Hixson team highlights why breakthrough infections are more likely with the omicron variant below, so keep reading.

What Are Breakthrough Infections?

Breakthrough infections, according to the CDC, occur when a person tests positive for COVID-19 at least two weeks after being fully vaccinated, including receiving a booster dose when eligible.

The reason breakthrough infections are more common with the omicron variant than they have been with past variants is because omicron is much more transmissible than previous variants, due to its different mutations. This makes it more able to escape the passive immunity that is provided from initial COVID-19 vaccinations. Initial omicron symptoms also look a little different, and we’ve listed them below.

Common Initial Omicron Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Congestion and runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headache

How Effective Are Booster Shots?

Highly effective! According to studies, booster shots have been demonstrated to be 90% effective in preventing hospitalizations due to omicron in recent CDC trials.

While the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters in preventing initial infection has declined, avoiding hospitalization and major illness is the goal of vaccination and will be what gets us through the pandemic. So, if you haven’t already, get your vaccine or a booster dose if you’re eligible! A few additional measures to reduce your chances of contracting the coronavirus are listed below.

Ways to Prevent Omicron Infection

  • Wear a well-fitting N95 or KN95 mask. These offer the highest level of protection, according to the CDC.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and often. Make sure to wash for at least 20 seconds each time to properly rid of lingering bacterial and viral particles.
  • Be smart with where you go and the events you attend. Even though physical distancing is still recommended by the CDC, not many adhere to it anymore. If you are immunocompromised, live with someone who is at high risk of becoming seriously ill or you have young children at home, you may want to be more cautious and keep your distance in public.

Our AFC Urgent Care Hixson team is here for you now and always! Don’t hesitate to visit us today.