East Texans react to the outbreak of the COVID-19 omicron variant


TYLER, Texas (KETK) – When the omicron variant emerged on Thanksgiving Day, many people have become guarded once again and are hoping the vaccines and wearing masks can keep the case numbers low.

“I’m tired of lockdowns. I am tired of lockdowns. I mean people are without work, you know. I’m sick of all of it, actually!” said Naomi Lipscomb. Almost two years into the pandemic, many people are eager to return to normal. Though, with the Omicron variant, many are wondering if the current vaccines will still protect them.

Some East Texans are playing it safe and hope others can do the same by taking the necessary precautions to stop the progression. “I already had my two shots and I feel normal and I feel safe. So, do not be afraid. Let’s do this and control the virus,” said Cornelio Serrano. Smith County Health Authority, Dr. Paul McGaha said this new variant is currently being studied and health officials are hoping that the preliminary vaccine rounds can protect against it. 

“We’re a couple of old folks. We’ve got all of our shots. We aren’t too concerned about Omicron the new variant, but we are going to play it safe and we are going to wear our mask,” said James Goodman.

 “We don’t know if the Omicron variant will be more infectious. We don’t know if it will invade our natural immunity or vaccine-induced immunity. In a few weeks, we should know that,” said. Dr. McGaha. Covid-19 cases in East Texas continue in a downward trend, but Dr. McGaha says it’s a team effort. “I think it would be wise for people if they haven’t received the preliminary series of first vaccinations against COVID- they should get that COVID vaccine. And, if it’s been 6 months from the primary series, they should get that booster,” said Dr. McGaha.

For a list of vaccine sites located near you, you can see that here:  



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