Head of Maine CDC: ‘matter of time’ before new variant here

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 4:51 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - The head of the Maine CDC says it is only a matter of time before the omicron variant is found in someone here in Maine. Omicron is a highly mutated version of the coronavirus.

Dr. Nirav Shah talked at length about the variant during Wednesday’s weekly briefing.

Shah says it’s certainly a concern, but time will tell on how much of a threat it poses.

He anticipates it will take weeks of study before there are answers to many questions.

As the work is done to look for those answers about how this variant will effect people, there is one constant to fall back on.

“If you’re vaccinated, your immune system is not a blank slate anymore. Just as the virus can adapt, so can your immune system even if your immune system is facing a slightly different variant, omicron, from the ones that were in the vaccine, your body’s immune system has an amazing degree of plasticity and it can adapt even to something that it really hasn’t seen before, but then it has seen something resembling,” said Shah.

Shah did recommend that everyone who can go get a COVID-19 booster.

He reports that just under 30% of eligible Mainers have gotten the follow up shot so far.

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