HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Omicron variant, the most dominant strain of COVID-19 in the country, is expected to infect thousands of Alabamians in the coming weeks.
Health experts say the spike in cases will depend on how much Omicron evades vaccines, stating they have learned that the variant is resistant to vaccines and antibody treatments which have altered the peak of infections.
Initially the CDC said vaccinations create a lower ‘’immune evasion,” which in turn will predict the surge in Omicron cases in each state. They say the peak of infections; however, depends on the rate of vaccinations.
Dr. Suzanne Judd of the University of Alabama in Birmingham’s School of Public Health says in Alabama, less than 50% of the population remains unvaccinated.
“At the peak we’re going to have lots more people with COVID, probably not in the hospital, but still you’ll have co-workers and friends that you know that are not well,” said Judd.
Dr. Judd says that the peak of Omicron infections depends mostly on self-efficiency, such as getting the vaccine, masking and following social distancing rules.
With a one-day record-breaking total of more than 11,000 cases in the state of Alabama on Tuesday, the peak of infections is getting closer.
“I’ve started to run some models on the last three weeks that are based on what South Africa has experienced and also what New York City experienced,” Judd told News 19. “New York was hit earlier on than Alabama was and right now it looks like we are going to peak somewhere are mid-January to late January.”
“Which means we’ll probably be back at a lower level of cases by early February,” Judd continued. “So, this one’s going to be much faster than previous peaks we’ve seen in the past, but the downside is it’s going to be much worse.”
Experts first predicted that the Omicron variant would hit the United States by January with a projected surge to peak in April. It’s in Alabama now and those experts say that Omicron continues to spread at a rapid pace.