Dec 9, 2021 - COVID

Omicron variant found in Iowa

Illustration of the state of Iowa covered in bandages.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Omicron variant has been identified in Iowa.

Driving the news: State health officials announced Thursday that an unvaccinated person under age 18 has tested positive for the new coronavirus variant.

  • The Black Hawk County resident is asymptomatic, but got a test because of travel exposure.

State of play: Health officials forecast a rise in Omicron cases, but there are still many unknowns, including transmissibility and how effective vaccines are against the variant.

What they're saying: There's growing evidence that booster shots offer protection against the variant, Iowa Department of Public Health's interim director Kelly Garcia said.

  • She urged vaccinated Iowans to get their extra shot and unvaccinated people to talk with their health care providers.

Of note: 73% of eligible Iowans age 12 and up have at least one vaccine dose and 67% are fully vaccinated, according to The New York Times.

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