Vaccine companies, state officials share updates on Omicron variant

‘Could see as many as 10,000 cases a day’ Cohen says of Omicron spread
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 7:54 PM EST
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - Gov. Roy Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services held a press conference Monday encouraging vaccination and booster shots to defend against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Cohen said that the Omicron variant is the most contagious variant yet and the state will likely see upwards of 10,000 cases a day in the near future. It was announced Monday evening that Omicron is now the dominant variant in the U.S.

Cooper praised the defense shown thus far from the vaccine. “When I think of things I’m grateful for this Christmas, this vaccine is a big one,” he said.

Several of the vaccine production companies gave written statements on Monday concerning their vaccine’s booster shots’ abilities to provide defense against the new variant.

Moderna stated that lab tests show its half-dose booster shot increased defense antibodies 37 times the level of so-called neutralizing antibodies able to fight Omicron.

The company said its full-dose booster gives 83 times the levels in antibodies.

Cooper and Cohen stressed the importance of vaccination ahead of the holidays as the DHHS predicts another surge in cases after Christmas and New Year’s from the rapidly spreading new variant.

Responding to questions about the potential surge compared with previous ones, Cohen said:

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