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COVID-19 omicron variant listed as variant of concern

The World Health Organization listed the new COVID-19 omicron variant as a variant of concern last week.

Former state health services director Will Humble says there are a lot of unknowns about the new strain, such as how it affects people with different vaccination status.

“There’s less than 100 cases at this point, and it doesn’t appear that they’ve done a lot of in-depth epidemiology to figure out whether this is dominant in vaccinated persons, or, which I suspect, unvaccinated people,” said Humble.

The WHO says the Omicron variant presents a large number of mutations, suggesting a risk of reinfection for those who have already contracted COVID-19, as well as potentially making the virus more transmissible and vaccines less effective.

Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.