On November 28, popular U.S. vlogger Kim Iversen claimed that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are global superspreaders of the new omicron variant.
“I can’t believe that after fully vaccinated travelers have been found to be the global spreaders of the omicron variant, we’re STILL talking about forcing people into being vaccinated,” she said on Twitter.
The tweet received thousands of shares and likes; still, the claim is misleading.
In fact, there is scant data on how the new variant is being spread. Vaccination remains a key to resisting the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it's true that vaccinated individuals can still catch and spread the virus, the vaccines are proven to significantly lessen the severe consequences of infection and reduce hospitalizations and deaths.
Furthermore, unvaccinated individuals are more likely to catch the virus from vaccinated people who may get breakthrough infections, a recent study in the U.K. found.
The new omicron mutation was first reported to the World Health Organization from South Africa on November 24 (Greek letters are used to identify successive mutations).