While admitting vaccines may not be effective against the new variant, health officials claim the best protection against it is to get vaccinated
When the World Health Organization held a press conference regarding the latest variant of concern, Omicron, on November 26, every health department in the country knew they had to issue a response to the most recent panic trigger. Los Angeles County's Department of Public Health was no exception. Like every other official health organization, their reaction is irrational, based on nothing more than the preservation of their reputations and power.
"We have uncertainty about the level of vaccine efficacy against this new variant of concern," LACDPH admitted in a press release on November 27. For this reason, county health officials urged all residents to wear a mask when indoors "regardless of vaccination status." In other words, the vaccine currently pushed at the public and mandated through various health orders may not prevent transmission of the Omicron variant of the virus. You need a mask.
Yet, in the very same paragraph of the press release, the county health department claims "The most important strategy remains making sure that everyone 5 years old and older gets fully vaccinated."
If the vaccine may not be effective against Omicron, how can the "most important strategy" be to get vaccinated?
This will "reduce transmission," according to LACDPH.
For the sake of argument, let's say that vaccines do reduce transmission - of the Delta variant of the Covid virus. Let's say we were able to reduce transmission of the Delta variant to zero. That would have no effect whatsover on transmission of the Omicron variant, should it not respond to present-day vaccines. None. Whatsoever. Vaccination for the Delta variant will not stop the spread of a different variant that does not respond to the vaccine. In fact, the vaccinated public are every bit as open targets for Omicron as the unvaccinated public.
Our county health officials, upon whom it is important we can depend for reliable information and advice, just made an outrageously irrational recommendation for preparation for the oncoming Omicron variant. First of all, vaccines do not do a very good job at reducing transmission. About a third of new Covid cases in the county are coming from the vaccinated population. Secondly, recommending a vaccine to prevent an Omicron infection when they don't even know if the vaccine will prevent an Omicron infection is a piss-poor piece of advice.
It is possible that extraordinary measures will not be necessary and should not be taken regarding the present Omicron variant, which will almost certainly be in the area if it is not already. So far, all of the known cases of Omicron have been either "extremely mild," or "pretty mild," according to Professor Barry Schoub, head of South African's Ministerial Advisory Committee, and Dr. Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association. Typically, viruses mutate to become more infectious and less deadly. The less deadly strains are more successful in competing against the more deadly strains as they have more opportunity to spread.
But the daily Covid case counter motivates health officials like Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health to urge the public to take measures against their own personal medical interest in order to better the public perception of her own personal job performance. In LA County, did lockdowns work in preventing infection? No. Did masks work in preventing infection? No. Did shutting down outdoor dining last winter prevent the huge surge that occurred anyway in January? No. But if Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health told you to do all that, then she can say it's your fault when it didn't work. And that's what she plans to do with Omicron, too.
Telling people to vaccinate as a way to prevent an Omicron infection is like telling them to buy snake oil.