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Doctors warn against false information as they learn more about new COVID variant

A medical worker wears plastic gloves at a temporary screening clinic for the coronavirus in...
A medical worker wears plastic gloves at a temporary screening clinic for the coronavirus in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. The emergence of the new omicron variant and the world’s desperate and likely futile attempts to keep it at bay are reminders of what scientists have warned for months: The coronavirus will thrive as long as vast parts of the world lack vaccines. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)(Lee Jin-man | AP)
Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 10:59 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The omicron variant isn’t yet in the U.S., but that hasn’t stopped false information from spreading online. As the variant spreads to more countries, medical experts are rushing to learn more about it.

President Joe Biden on Monday addressed the country, telling Americans to refute rumors that vaccines won’t work against the new variant. The president said the best defense is a vaccine and booster shot.

“The best protection against this new variant or any of the variants out, the ones we’ve been dealing with already, is getting fully vaccinated and getting a booster shot,” the president said. “Most Americans are vaccinated, but not yet boosted.”

Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said false information about the variant is concerning and dangerous.

In Wichita, Dr. Tiffany Schwasinger-Schmidt with the KU School of Medicine, said the misinformation she’s seen is purely due to fear of the unknown. She wants people to understand that it’s best to listen to medical professionals.

“We’re studying this, we’re reacting to everything we’re seeing, we’re able to rapidly see people, we’re looking at how this is affecting people, we’re doing the studies we need to do to understand this new variant,” she said. “But the best resource is always going to be those primary care physicians because they really do know your personal health and they can help you make those informed decisions and the best ways to keep you healthy and safe.”

She seconded the president’s advice that the best defenses against the variant are booster doses and vaccines.

“So, it’s incredibly important to get your kids vaccinated and get yourself vaccinated,” she said. “Get the booster dose because what it’s going to do is it’s going to give you those extra protective antibodies that help the body fight the infection.”

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