‘Deluge’ of Omicron Virus Is Coming, Santa Clara County Health Officials Warn

Santa Clara County health officials urged residents Thursday to get a booster vaccine dose if they are eligible, forecasting a wave of cases in the coming weeks tied to the Omicron variant.

“When I look around the corner ahead, what I see is a deluge of Omicron,” said county Health Officer and Public Health Department Director Dr. Sara Cody at a press briefing on the variant. “What I see is perhaps one of the most challenging moments that we've had yet in the pandemic.”

“To be fully up to date with COVID vaccine protection, you need to have a booster,” she said.

Ten cases of the variant have been confirmed in the county so far, according to Cody. Of those 10, four were unvaccinated, five were fully vaccinated and had yet to receive a booster and one had received a booster dose, but had not yet eclipsed the two-week period it takes for vaccine-induced protection to reach its peak.

In addition, most of those 10 have shown symptoms, Cody said, but none required hospitalization. Early research has found that the new variant may be highly contagious but less likely to cause serious illness than past variants such as Delta.

Cody said that while Delta remains the county's dominant variant, the Omicron variant's ongoing spread in Europe is likely a harbinger of the pandemic's next phase in the Bay Area.

Cody and county Vaccine Officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib said that while the county's vaccination rate is high -- 80 percent of all county residents have completed their initial vaccine series -- the original two-dose Pfizer and Moderna series or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccination will likely not be enough to counter the infectiousness of new variants like omicron.

They said 44 percent of the county's adults have received a booster dose. In addition, some 250,000 residents aged 50 and older -- who Fenstersheib noted are at the highest risk of infection and serious illness -- have yet to receive a booster dose.

While some children between the ages of 12 and 15 would also be eligible for a booster dose if state and federal regulators had given their blessing, Fenstersheib argued those at highest risk should be prioritized first.

“Before we worry about going younger, let's get those 250,000 adults boosted so that we can keep them from getting hospitalized or dying,” he said.

All residents age 16 and up are eligible for a booster vaccine dose if they are at least six months past their second Pfizer or Moderna dose or at least two months past their single Johnson & Johnson dose.

While the three available vaccines remain highly effective at preventing serious COVID-19 illness and death, public health officials at all levels have argued that their protection begins to wane after several months. Preemptively boosting a person's immune response will maximize protection against existing and potential variants of the virus, which could continue to become more contagious and even circumvent vaccine protections, they said.

“What we're saying is that the initial vaccine series 80 percent of our population has gotten isn't enough anymore because the situation on the ground has changed,” Cody said.

The two officials suggested that residents take extra precaution if they hold gatherings with friends and family members for the holidays by wearing a mask and getting tested prior to attending any gatherings.

Vaccination remains the best tool to prevent transmission of the virus and is even more effective when paired with other mitigation measures like masking and proper ventilation for enclosed spaces, they said.

“This is about layers of prevention; no single strategy works,” Cody said. “We have to combine them.”

Cody also acknowledged the pandemic fatigue that many are facing after cooperating with pandemic restrictions and requirements for nearly two years.

“I think what makes this so difficult is ... we now have a variant that all evidence suggests grows really fast and takes over really fast,” she said. “And it's happening in a setting where we're (saying) ‘We've been at this for two years, we're awfully tired, please don't tell us to do anything else.’ That is how we all feel. So that combination is really challenging.”

 

 

20 Comments

  1. Omi-cold….
    “…we’re seeing a common cold-like illness.
    This new scientific data from the University of Hong Kong is telling us that omicron does not invade the lung tissue that’s deep in the respiratory tract.
    It stays superficial in the nose and bronchus.
    The lab explains the epidemiological data and the bedside observation of doctors that this is far more mild… and that’s why I call it omi-cold. ”

    Dr. Marty Makary M.D., M.P.H.,
    Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and
    Bloomberg School of Public Health

    ———– Omicron Fear Fueling a ‘Second Pandemic of Lunacy’ (Dec2021)—————-

  2. These two statements are inconsistent:

    “public health officials at all levels have argued that their [three vaccines] protection begins to wane after several months.”

    “What we’re saying is that the initial vaccine series 80 percent of our population has gotten isn’t enough anymore because the situation on the ground has changed,” Cody said.

    One statement says the vaccines’ effectiveness decays over time, while the other says the problem is that the virus that has evolved over time.

    The other thing that’s missing is any appreciation for risks due to the vaccines themselves. What about all the young people collapsing from myocarditis? Shouldn’t anyone over 50 be somewhat concerned that a vaccination could give them a heart problem they never had before? Just last night, the CDC said not to get boosted with J&J because of a rare blood-clotting disorder. Who knows if they’ll decide next week that the other two vaccines cause problems, too?

  3. Sara Cody is an absolute fear mongering government official with way too much power. Florida currently has much lower daily cases, and 7-day average cases than CA, despite CA’s continued mandates that are most strict, especially in the Bay – and even more especially in Santa Clara County. Vaccines DO NOT prevent transmission. Masks DO NOT prevent transmission – and it’s time to get real leadership in this County. Cody, who thinks people wearing wet rags on their faces at a gym – or a kid wearing a mask is somehow effective – but it’s not. Kids have been in school for a year, and wouldn’t recognize a classmate out of school because they have their faces covered constantly. And they say these policies are benign? While these same policies, including absurd lock-downs, have created a mental health crisis for our youth. 4x the amount of people died of drug overdoses in SF than from COVID – and between Santa Clara County and San Fran, millions of people, only 4, 0-20 year old people (they don’t break down the data for just minors) died, and they had pre-existing issues. Zero in San Fran.

    So we need to start being honest about the data, and start using hospitalizations and deaths as the metric, and not just “cases.” There will always be cases – and the flu, since the 1918 pandemic, has killed 50 million people worldwide – and these inconsistent public health officers treat a more dangerous respiratory disease (now that there are vaccines), like the flu, completely different.

    It is fear based public health – and people like Cody have created a Pandemic of Fear, and it’s really sad actually. So, let’s get Cody and all of the other scared adults defaulting to unnecessary and extreme measures some PTSD therapy – because the Omicron is mild, and the panic is just manufactured hysteria from incompetent public health officials and politicians.

  4. @Try Logic, The other major risk factor is for young adults/ college age students which really are not at risk and are at more health risk from a booster than any known variant.
    But some Schools are Blindly boosting a booster requirement for students.

    It is fairly widespread that Moderna is not recommended for use among young adults, citing concerns over rare side effects to the heart. The J&J issue is Blot Clots in mainly females and lower effectiveness.

    “…an increased risk of side effects such as inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) and inflammation of the pericardium (pericarditis)…”

    Nov2021: Germany advises against Moderna jab for under-30s
    Oct2021: Sweden suspends Moderna vaccine for those 30 and under
    Nov2021: France advises against Moderna for under-30s
    Sep2021: Ontario(Canada) now recommending against Moderna vaccine for men

  5. I don’t understand why those authorities single out Moderna and not Pfizer. Aren’t they both mRNA molecules with a lipid sleeve? If they use the same technology, shouldn’t they have the same drawbacks, unless it’s specifically a manufacturing problem?

    And I don’t understand why there’s a myocarditis risk for those under 30, but not those over 50. Is it just that people over 50 have more heart problems anyway, so no one blames the vaxx when someone over 50 gets myocarditis as a result?

  6. Time for “Our Most Beloved Devouring Mother” Cody to whip out the fear porn to get the lemming rubes back on the leash.

    You people are so sad. What do you think your kids think of you when you hid in your anxiety cages. No wonder we have gender confusion issues in California.

  7. @Try Logic, The Data points toward Moderna (mRNA-1273) as having a higher instance of Myocarditis in all vaccinated individuals over all other vaccines tested.
    In individuals under 40yrs the Moderna 2nd dose resulted in higher cases of Myocarditis than persons who tested positive for COVID with no vaccine protection.

    I don’t think booster data was available for study timing –
    I would ask the question why Moderna booster would not have a similar impact.

    Pfizer BioNTech (BNT162b2) and AZ(ChAdOx1) showed some Myocarditis in those under 40 but the cases were much less than both Moderna and those COVID positive with no vaccine protection.

    Detailed analysis / discussion of the study test results can be found at:

    ———- “Risks of myocarditis, pericarditis, and cardiac arrhythmias associated with COVID-19 vaccination or SARS-CoV-2 infection” (14Dec2021 Nature Medicine) —————

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01630-0

  8. Interesting to read that one factor in vaccine administration is how much stock was ordered and which type expires next (makes sense, but how does the large vaccine stocks the US Govt bought compare to a decision of use up before expire or trash?)

    “People due to receive their Covid-19 booster vaccine in coming weeks will primarily be offered the Moderna dose at HSE vaccination centres.”

    The HSE is reported to have Large Supplies of Moderna Due to Expire Next Month,
    so that will be the main vaccine administered over coming weeks to the over-60s, over-50s, healthcare workers and younger people in vulnerable groups –
    though it will be restricted to people Over 30 years old.”
    ———— The Irish Times 07Dec2021 ————–

  9. Catastrophizers return to full force. As others have noted, if the quacks actually looked at the data from South Africa where the variant originated, they would immediately see that the virus is 10 times less likely to involve the lungs as previous variants did and basically it is similar to the common cold. It escapes me why quacks want to appear as being uninformed buffoons, but they willingly do this on a daily basis.

    Why anyone would listen to medical flunkies that wound up in government jobs in the first place is the question we should be asking. These were likely the least capable doctors and that’s why they ended up where they are. There’s really no other explanation for why you’d have a CDC director say that comical masks are “80% effective” despite having no data to support the statement and you have Dr. Fauci saying we should be wearing two masks. It’s all completely absurd.

    Reminds me of Cindy Chavez saying that ‘those construction workers were working outside without masks’. More people oblivious to the fact that it took being indoors within 6 ft of someone for 15 minutes to even require contact tracing at the time. BTW…what ever happened to the 20,000 contact tracers Gavin promised us. How many years will stupidity rule?

  10. Santa Clara County Hospital Covid Patients:
    12/17/20: 561
    12/17/21: 129
    Santa Clara County Covid Deaths:
    Week ending 12/06/20: 41
    Week ending 12/05/21: 7

  11. Well, now the UK is starting to develop evidence that Omicron is as dangerous as Delta.

    But it is much more infectious.

    THere is still NO SCIENTIFIC evidence to PROVE that the ALPHA vaccine does work on OMICRON.

    The rapid spread seems to be starting the process of another wave of contact limitations.

    I suspect on Tuesday there will be more efforts to legislate another relief package, since OMICRON is NOT proven to be protected by the vaccines, and it reinfects those that already had it.

  12. Sounds like someone is hoping to extend the free ride and to hold off his landlord. 🤑 💸
    That said, I hope that anyone who has tried to “game” his landlord had the g-d given sense to put aside the rents so he can pay when Newsom’s skirt gets lifted.

    Deluge? Deluge? Try Genesis 6-8 for description of the word. “Spate” would have been a better choice for the headline 😂

  13. Why does every photo of Dr. Cody make it appear as if her antacid tablets have completely failed her?

    I realize that the poor woman has an impossible job; however, being wrong on every one of her predictions doesn’t help.

  14. HB,

    You can’t hold Dr. Cody or anyone else responsible for the anti-maskers, the anti-vaxers, and the bone headed actions of those that contnue to spread COVID.

    THe facts are it is as contagious as the Measles now, and there is no SCIENTIFIC evidences that we are pon the right track.

    In fact Santa Clara County now only has only 45 IOCU beds free, that makes our availability rate taking into account we have 3800 beds only1.1% availability. The STATE has 1,100 ICU beds open where the state has 73,000 beds, which makes the sate availiblity rate 1.5%. What would happen if we had an decent earthquake now? People would die because there would be no resources to care for them.

    The fact that this GAMBLE on the public health is going to backfire, Omicron hasn’t even really lit up yet.

  15. Oh great, now we’re bringing back the lie about the availability of hospital beds. SCC removed hundreds of beds from the dashboard count years ago to create the appearance of a crisis.

  16. Joe Smith,

    Please provide some evidence of this last statement? Because making a baseless allegation with no proof does not make a good case. In any event I also reported on THE ENTIRE STATE.

    Please prove that somehow someway that there was a removal of ICU beds. But remember, it is not just the facilities thats the issue, without the required professionals to provide care, a bed is not usable.

    We ALL know of the SHORTAGE of professionals, and the inability of the FREE MARKET to keep the demand of workers SUPPLIED because it can take 4 years to get a person certified to do this work?

  17. Try logic,

    Sounds like an extreme Darwinist logic, if your older than 50, you should just report to the nearest suicide agency, and kill yourself, right?

    In any case, what solution do you have for Covid?

  18. Now that the Biden administration is going to delay student loan payments until May, that is the tripwire to give notice another relief package in going to happen, and that rent and mortgage moratorium are under way. The facts are that the leaders are just holding off until after the new year.

    Better get ready. by the way the unemployment report is false because it only counts the currently eligible insured and NOT the real numbers. But this is of course going to change when the new package extends the insurance again.

  19. Is it just me or do all these doom and gloom sad-sac libs ( DR Sara Cody) look like they just stepped of the page of a Doonesburry cartoon?

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