Arrival of omicron variant renews demand for vaccines among children, adults

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — With news that the omicron variant is officially in Northern California, some are concerned that it may just be a matter of time before it’s detected in the Sacramento area. 

It has also led to people wanting to get their family vaccinated.

“With everything that’s going on in the news, it just worries me,” Maria Vazquez said. 

She said the omicron variant made up her mind for her.

“Yes, it did. I was just questioning, going back and forth,” Vazquez said. 

On Wednesday, Bates Elementary in Sacramento County played host to a COVID-19 vaccine clinic. The school’s principal said that parents and students asked for the clinic.

“We also have some kids that are really interested in getting it themselves because they want to protect themselves and their families,” Principal Maria Elena Becerra said. 

At UC Davis, those at the genome center said they have analyzed 9,000 COVID-19 samples just on Monday alone. 

“Anytime we get a positive sample we do something called genotyping, and genotyping is a very quick and cheap way to see what variant we have,” project scientist Dr. David Coil said. 

Coil and others at the genome center are analyzing samples and if anything looks suspicious it gets sequenced to know exactly what it is. 

The testing comes mostly from Yolo County. However, some other counties are shipping their samples there too. So far, no omicron variant has been detected. 

Coil believes it is only a matter of time before their lab detects it, with many questions before and possibly after that happens. 

“What we don’t know though is how well omicron will compete with delta. Delta took over right; all the other variants are just noise in the background now. Omicron may or may not do the same thing, so I don’t know and I don’t think anyone knows how fast it will spread because it’s just too early to tell how it relates to delta,” Coil said. 

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