Bridgeport doctor: Best defense against omicron variant is vaccination

The World Health Organization says the global risk from the omicron variant of the coronavirus is very high and it could lead to surges with severe consequences.
Dr. Joanne Passalacqua is an infectious disease expert at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport. She says the latest coronavirus variant omicron is a cause for concern but not a cause for panic.
"It has more mutations to its spike protein than any virus as of yet. And it's the spike protein that's kind of the business end of the virus that allows the virus to attach to cells and produce infection," said Passalacqua.
Passalacqua says the Omicron variant may be more transmissible and says the best defense to this point is getting a vaccine.
"I think it makes boosting all the more important. I think it makes vaccination all the more important," she says.
The doctor says she's hopeful to know more in the coming weeks just how effective the vaccines are against this new strain. Passalacqua says keep social distancing and wearing masks.
Gov. Ned Lamont says the state Health Department is also keeping a very close eye on the progression of the omicron variant. He says there are no immediate plans to re-implement statewide indoor restrictions or mask mandates.