The omicron variant is spreading rapidly across the world and now across the U.S. While omicron seems to be more contagious than earlier variants, some signs indicate that it could also be milder than previous strains. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Dec. 8, Motley Fool contributors Keith Speights and Brian Orelli discuss whether or not this combination could make the omicron variant a net positive in the fight against COVID-19.
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Keith Speights: I'll ask you, I mean, you have a PhD in biology. Is it possible that a variant, let me just say, let's just assume that there's a variant -- whether it is omicron or any other coronavirus variant -- if a variant proves to be more contagious but milder than previous variants: Would that end up being a net positive?
Brian Orelli: Yes. Well, I think it depends. We're only talking, let's assume or just talking about it. Is it better for unvaccinated people? I think probably in general for the population, yes. Potentially, for some subset of people, no, because they're more likely to get infected. Those people that would've died, that might have died, and now might die, are more likely to get infected. Therefore, those people, it's probably worse off for them in particular.
Speights: I did notice that Pfizer (PFE -0.61%) CEO Albert Bourla said that, hey, maybe the omicron variant is milder, but there's still an issue because if it's more contagious, it's in more people, and that's more opportunities for the virus to mutate even further.
Orelli: Exactly. Fauci is fond of saying if it can't replicate, it can't mutate. That's definitely an issue for sure.
Orelli: Go get your boosters, people.
Speights: Go get your booster. I got mine last week. Get your booster. That's going to give you increased protection. Just remember: It's just too early. We really don't know for sure how omicron is going to play out. We're just going to have to watch it.