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Editorial: The editorial boards advice during the emergence of Omicron

Although Waltham has not identified cases of the Omicron variant, it is only a matter of time before cases are reported. This Council urges all eligible members of the Brandeis community to be vaccinated or receive the booster vaccine.

the first Case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant was confirmed in Massachusetts on December 4. The variant, which was first identified in South Africa in November 24, as one of the variables of interest by the World Health Organization on the date of November 26 . The first case in the United States was reported in California on December 1. Since then, several States — Including Hawaii, New York and Colorado — reported cases of the new variant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statment On December 1, focusing on “the importance of vaccinations, boosters, and general prevention strategies Necessary to protect against COVID-19. Effective December 1, boosters are recommended for all people over 18 years of age. BioNTech, Moderna Inc. and Oxford University have stated that it is likely that new boosters will be developed to ensure immunity to the Omicron variant, but that current vaccines should be necessary to provide protection. of severe forms of the disease.Until more data is available, we urge readers to remain calm and criticize unverified information – very little is known about the variant yet.

Brandeis Human Resources is hosting several COVID-19 booster vaccine clinics on campus on December 8, 9 and 21 at the Hassenfeld Convention Center. All students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the broader Waltham community can Participation To receive either a Pfizer or Moderna booster. Walgreens And CVS It also offers boosters to anyone over the age of 18 who has already completed their vaccination series. While this board recognizes that individuals may be discouraged from obtaining a booster during finals, it is imperative that we take precautions to protect vulnerable individuals in our community as soon as possible. For information on how to manage supportive side effects, visit the CDC website .

Receiving a booster vaccine and maintaining other public health precautions are especially critical during the holiday season, which is marked by high rates of travel across the country and abroad. Given that much remains unknown about the transmissibility and severity of the Omicron variant, this board would like to remind members of the community who leave campus during winter break to social distance and remain masked during travel regardless of vaccination status. Even when you are not on campus, it is our responsibility to remain vigilant and ensure a safe return for spring.

Finally, this forum would like to acknowledge the feelings of disappointment and hopelessness that must be overshadowed by many as we enter a new phase of the pandemic. As new information about Omicron emerges, we’d like to remind everyone to take care of themselves and avoid getting bogged down in claims made on social media, particularly regarding our return to campus in the spring. We must be patient and have confidence that the university will do what is best for the whole community.

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