Omicron is not the last Covid variant, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Variants of Covid are springing up all the time, perhaps in people who have compromised immune systems and experience prolonged infection or in animal hosts. Stuart Ray, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins, says right now with Delta and Omicron variants circulating, vaccination is more crucial than ever.

Ray: The people who are really unvaccinated and not immune may be particularly susceptible to Delta. And some of the severity we’re seeing may be in that population, so there’s still the situation where you don’t want to be the last person who has no armor. Getting vaccinated is a smart thing to do if you’re not at all vaccinated yet, and following the current recommendations is the safest  way to get immune, but we may see variants that surprise us, because the fitness landscape is shifting, and the rules are changing  for the virus as well as the rest of us.  :28

Ray agrees with many in the field that modified Covid vaccines, many already in development and testing, may be necessary as new variants continue to emerge. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.