Omicron looming but Harford Healthcare doctor worries about Delta variant with cases rising here


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — On Tuesday, Moderna’s CEO got the world’s attention warning the current COVID-19 vaccines may be less effective against the omicron variant than other variants. This as the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pointed out that we have far more tools to fight the variant than we had at this time last year.

Hartford Healthcare‘s Dr. Ulysses Wu, chief epidemiologist and system director of Infectious Diseases, is using caution talking about omicron. His main concern is the variant we are currently battling here in Connecticut: Delta, which continues to raise our state’s positivity rate.

“The analogy would be somewhat similar than it would be to the flu shot which has some variable in effectiveness every flu season,” said Dr. Wu. “So if there is some protection associated with the Moderna or Pfizer it’s better than no protection.”

He says we would still like to see the most optimal protection, and science can make that possible.

“That’s the beauty of this technology is that it can be very quickly adapted to create new vaccines if that is the case,” he said.

“This could turn out to be a deadlier, more transmissible, worse virus but the reality is we still have a current virus that is really bad,” said Dr. Wu referring to the Delta variant.

Wu points out that Connecticut will have a lot of work to do to deal with the Delta variant.

“All the cases rising in Connecticut right now are with cases and hospitalizations and unfortunately deaths these are all Delta right now so it’s not like Delta has gone away.”

Dr. Wu is hoping that the state can make progress against it to put Connecticut in a good position.

“If omicron or any other variants show up it could be a game-changer and we saw this with Delta this summer. If it wasn’t for delta we would have been normal, low summer numbers, but because of Delta we saw another wave.”

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