Does Omicron Cause More Breakthrough Infections Than Previous Variants?

April 14, 2022

You've likely noticed that more and more have been affected by “breakthrough” variants as of late, and this is no coincidence. The CDC has recently said to expect breakthrough infections to happen; while this is discouraging, it doesn't mean that COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots aren't working.

Read on to learn more about breakthrough infections from our AFC Urgent Care Castle Rock team!

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

Do Booster Shots Work?

Yes, they do. Studies state that booster shots have been shown to be 90% effective at avoiding hospitalizations due to omicron in recent trials conducted by the CDC.

Just because breakthrough infections happen doesn't mean that vaccinations aren't doing their job. The goal of vaccines and booster shots are to prevent hospitalization and serious illness. So, get your vaccine if you haven't yet or booster shot when you're eligible (five months after Pfizer or Moderna and two months after Johnson & Johnson). Below, we've listed a few extra ways to lower your risk of getting the coronavirus.

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.

We're here for you seven days a week! Don't hesitate to visit our AFC center if you are feeling less than your best.

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