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Brazos County Health Department discusses Omicron variant

Posted at 9:22 PM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-08 22:22:01-05

BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — The first case of the omicron variant was reported in Harris county. Now that it has reached our back door how’s the Brazos county health department responding?

As the thanksgiving festivities wrapped up, now heading into Christmas and New Years' gatherings, the health district is monitoring the numbers closely to identify spikes to contain them quickly.

The Omicron variant grasped the world's attention as a variant of concern and now it’s in our backyard.

Harris County reported traces of the variant were found through wastewater.

“This is a particular concern for us because even from day to day there is a lot of travel from Houston and Brazos county,” said Marry Parrish, emergency preparedness and response for the Brazos County health department.

The Brazos County Health District is tracking the numbers to stay vigilant.

“We are talking about not only identifying the variant but making sure it stays contained,” added Parrish.

In Brazos County, 47 percent of the eligible population are fully vaccinated. After studying the impacts of vaccines Pfizer says there’s now a major emphasis on getting your booster dose.

”Data now coming from the Omicron variant it's now very clear that our vaccine for the Omicron variant should be a three-dose vaccine,” said Uğur şahin, CEO of BioNTech.

The health department is continuing its remote vaccination efforts with the Brazos valley mobile action team.

“We can go anywhere that they’ll have us," explained Parrish. "Will go to churches, private businesses, different organizations. If you reach out to us, we’ll get it set up so we can go out and help your community,”

With holiday gatherings the health district is encouraging vaccinations -- to give patients the best defense against the Omicron variant.

“Our cases have been steady for the last few weeks," said Parrish. "However, this week and the next are going to really show us how thanksgiving gatherings affected our numbers,”

The Texas Department of State Health Services is tracking a little over 33 thousand COVID cases in Brazos county; slightly higher than a week ago.