The Impact of Omicron on the US Healthcare System

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As the Covid-19 variation known as Omicron spreads over the world, a new level of uncertainty emerges. On December 1, the first instance of Omicron was discovered in California, and the variant has already spread to 20 states (as of December 8, 2021). As word of Omicron’s spread spreads, you may be afraid to travel to the United States for your clinical experience.

Although preliminary evidence suggests that Omicron is less severe than prior variants like Delta, there is still much to learn about vaccination response to the strain and its implications on hospitalization rates.

Here’s everything you need to know about Omicron and how the US is responding to assist keep you safe when traveling for your clinical experience in the United States.

Travel Restrictions

Apart from the recently announced travel bans on eight nations in southern Africa, the US border remains open to foreign travel. International tourists must be completely vaccinated against Covid-19 and submit a negative Covid-19 test result within three days of travel, according to current travel rules published by the Biden administration last month.

Due to its focus on individual cases, the US announced these rules as a stronger, more targeted method to prevent the spread of Covid-19 through travel.

Vaccines and Testing

In response to the uncertainties surrounding Omicron, the Biden administration announced a strategy for preventing the virus’s spread and ensuring the safety of U.S. citizens and visitors. The government has made a major effort to scale up testing in the United States as part of this objective by providing free at-home testing. Although adding 20,000 free testing facilities and distributing free at-home test kids through major community sites have been received with some criticism because of the difficulty of getting reimbursements from private insurers, this approach will be good for early and isolated identification of Covid-19.

To address the prevalence and severity of the Omicron variety, the Biden administration is counting on greater vaccine access in addition to testing. Covid-19 vaccinations are currently available from Pfizer for all U.S. individuals over the age of 5, Moderna and Pfizer for those 12 and older, and Pfizer, Moderna, and Pfizer for those 18 and older. as well as Johnson & Johnson. Booster shots are provided to persons aged 18 and over who have had their original vaccination series for at least six months.

Although preliminary data from trials in South Africa and Germany suggests that vaccines will be less successful at preventing Omicron infections, the same studies also suggest that vaccines will protect against severe variants of the virus. Furthermore, according to a study conducted in Germany, booster shots will strengthen infection resistance. While neither of these studies has gone through the peer-review process, the findings are consistent with preliminary findings from a study released by Pfizer on December 8, 2021, which found that a third shot of the Pfizer vaccine produces neutralizing antibodies against Omicron with the same efficacy as two doses of the vaccine against earlier variants.

Personal Protection

Your safety, the safety of our precepting physicians, and the safety of patients are our top priorities as you consider traveling to the United States. We revised our clinical experience policy to address changes owing to Covid-19-related concerns at the start of the epidemic.

From our team, we wish you a safe and healthy new year! Reach out to us at for any questions you might have or check out our website for more details.

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