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COVID trends promising in Oregon, but impact of omicron variant remains unknown

One of the first federal family mobilization vaccination clinics will be set up in late December in Washington state just south of Seattle.

PORTLAND, Ore. — President Joe Biden is promising to set up hundreds of family mobilization vaccination clinics across the country to combat COVID-19 this winter. The announcement comes as the impact of the COVID-19 omicron variant in the United States remains yet to be seen. 

One of the first of those clinics will open in Washington state at the Federal Way Performing Arts Center just south of Seattle. The clinic is set to open Dec. 20 and it will run for about 30 days. Governor Jay Inslee is pleased about the news.

“This is continuing to add to our efforts to get vaccine to where people are. We know there is considerable demand,” Inslee said.

President Biden said the clinics will replace the mass vaccination clinics that were initially set up. They will allow everyone from kids to seniors to get the vaccine or the booster shot.

RELATED: How to get a booster or third COVID vaccine dose in Oregon and Washington

Omicron variant and vaccines

The New York Times reports scientists in South Africa believe the omicron variant spreads twice as fast as the delta variant, which spread much faster than the original virus. It’s important to note that research has not been peer reviewed.

When it comes to vaccines, a report in the New England Journal of Medicine studied 400,000 veterans who got either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. The research shows the Moderna vaccine as being slightly better and both vaccines as being very effective. 

RELATED: No, there isn’t a new test to detect the omicron variant

Oregon Health & Science University's COVID forecast

The latest forecast from Oregon Health & Science University holds encouraging predictions for the state. The number of hospitalized patients is predicted to keep falling through December, January and February, although it is unclear if the omicron variant will upend the predictions.

Credit: OHSU

Researchers believe only about 18% of people in Oregon are still susceptible to the virus. Everyone else is either vaccinated or already infected, or both.

The regional forecast shows cases falling in every part of Oregon.

Credit: OHSU

OHSU's death forecast shows the number of weekly deaths falling, although people are still dying from COVID-19 every day.

Credit: OHSU

Have a comment or story idea for reporter Pat Dooris? Email him at pdooris@kgw.com

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