People should not try to intentionally catch omicron, experts say

People should not try to intentionally catch omicron, experts say

Health experts warn that people should not seek out the omicron variant and that vaccines, including booster shots, provide immunity without the associated risks of catching coronavirus, The Hill reported.

People who are trying to get omicron may believe that it is mild, although there is still new data coming out about the variant on that front. Health experts have been stressing in recent days that omicron is not necessarily “mild,” although the word has been used a lot especially in media and news outlets. 

Someone infected with the omicron variant may have a lower chance of severe illness, “but that doesn't mean that it can't be a severe illness," Paul Offit, who is director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, told CNN. "It's just less severe. But you don't have a 0% chance of dying. You should never want to get infected." 

Doctors are still seeing patients hospitalized with the omicron variant, even in people without underlying conditions. There’s also the possibility of "long COVID-19," which could affect health for an extended period of time with symptoms like brain fog and fatigue. 

Another reason to not intentionally contract omicron is that you could spread the virus to others. This could increase the burden on already overwhelmed health care systems and prolong outbreaks. There’s also the vulnerable group of children under 5 years old who are not yet eligible to get vaccinated.