LA CROSSE, Wis. ― COVID-19 testing volumes have again risen over the past seven days at Mayo Clinic Health System in Southwest Wisconsin
COVID-19 testing increased 12% from the previous full week (not counting the Thanksgiving holiday weekend).
COVID-19 vaccination numbers rose by 9% overall with children between the ages of 5–11, with an overall 25% increase in immunizations.
Mayo Clinic is closely monitoring the new COVID-19 omicron strain, and following research and clinical observations. One of the many questions they're hoping to answer is how well current COVID-19 vaccines and treatments will work against omicron.
"If you look at the structure of omicron and compare it to the structure of previous strains, including delta, the site where there is the most change from the original strain is the spike protein," says Andrew Badley, M.D., chair of the Mayo Clinic COVID-19 Task Force. "That means current therapies that target the spike protein, such as monoclonal antibodies, may have reduced efficacy against the omicron variant. Exactly how much is what researchers are working to determine."
It's important to note that vaccination will provide some degree of protection, which is why getting vaccinated for COVID-19 remains the best thing the public can do in response to the omicron variant and future variants.
"The best we can do is to encourage vaccination and boosting according to current recommendations, and to continue to practice masking and social distancing in congregate settings," says Dr. Badley.
Eligible patients can schedule a flu vaccination, COVID-19 vaccine booster or a COVID-19 test by contacting Mayo Clinic Health System using Patient Online Services or by calling 608-392-7400.