Some New Yorkers vow not to change holiday plans despite omicron concerns
Some New Yorkers say they have no intention of changing holiday plans, despite growing concern over the omicron variant.
De Blasio said his administration is in close contact with Gov. Kathy Hochul and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He says he will be basing his decisions moving forward on the data from experts as they learn more about this variant. The mayor adds no omicron cases have been spotted in New York City yet.
"We don't know much regarding the vaccines and their effectiveness with the new variant," says Dr. Purvi Parikh, an immunologist with NYU Langone Health. "The good news is that the cases that have emerged have been mild, so we haven't seen any severe cases or deaths from the new variant."
New Yorkers also had mixed feelings about whether to take the advice of health officials and get a booster.
President Joe Biden signed off on the decision Friday to close the U.S. border beginning Monday to travelers coming from South Africa and seven other neighboring countries out of an abundance of caution. Dozens of other countries have put in place similar travel restrictions as well. At least 44 countries have banned travel from several African countries. Omicron variant cases are popping up in a growing number of countries, including Canada.
Both de Blasio and Mayor-elect Eric Adams say they're listening to science as they learn more the omicron variant. They also plan on increasing their vaccination efforts citywide.
Recent stats show that 88% of adults in New York City have had at least one dose of the vaccine. Only 45% of kids aged 5-17 have had at least one dose.