Georgia doctor previews COVID-19 outlook through holidays

Tori Hood, an emergency room nurse at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, gives 15-year-old Tristan Linscott her first COVID-19 vaccine dose at a pop-up vaccination clinic at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park. (Sam Whitehead/WABE)

During 2020, we would see the first holiday season of what we now call the high pandemic era.

Now for this holiday season, still in a pandemic, the holidays — on top of a big election year — have made the start of the season quite stressful for some.

On this edition of “Closer Look,” Dr. Winston Price, immediate past chief of staff at Memorial Hospital and Manor in Bainbridge, Georgia, discussed developments in growing COVID-19 variants, including a new strain of Omicron that is expected to surge throughout the upcoming holiday season.

“The newest strain is a little bit problematic is that it’s learned how to avoid the protection of the original vaccine,” said Price, who has served as the 105th President of the National Medical Association. “The good news again is that we have kept pace with our scientific initiatives and have created a vaccine … that has gotten around that area.”

Price said that now more than ever it is crucial to stay vaccinated to prevent the risks of experiencing growing COVID variants.

“COVID is still here, people are still ending up in the hospital, people are still dying every day of COVID,” said Price. “The only way we can have a good holiday season is to have everyone get their COVID vaccine and booster. That way, we will not have another outbreak.”