Gov. Cooper, Cohen urge vaccinations, booster shots as omicron variant looms

Gov. Roy Cooper at COVID-19 press conference on Nov. 30, 2021. (Photo: UNC-TV)

NORTH CAROLINA (WWAY/WTVD) — In a news conference, Gov. Roy Cooper and DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen urged North Carolinians to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“We still know this to be 100% true: getting more people vaccinated is the way out of this pandemic,” Cooper said.

Cooper said he was pleased that Thanksgiving this year felt much more normal than the past year, but emphasized that we’re still not out of the woods.

Cohen and Cooper both discussed the new omicron variant, Cohen clarifying that the WHO designated it a variant of concern.

“All viruses change over time and COVID-19 is no exception,” Cohen said. “There’s no need for alarm, but we do need to monitor the science and data.”

Going through the state’s metrics, she emphasized most are leveling, though the potential for an uptick in the winter months isn’t out of question. Plus, she added, it will be several weeks before analysts know whether Thanksgiving gatherings among the unvaccinated caused any outbreaks.

Cohen again emphasized that no cases of omicron have been identified in North Carolina or the U.S. yet, but said it is likely that the variant is already here.

“The time to act is now for vaccination,” Cohen said.

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