TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — As residents begin to to prepare for the New Year, a new variant has also been discovered with many doctors saying it is more transmissible than the delta variant.

Dr. Brian Dixon, director of public health informatics at the Regenstrief Institute says the Omicron variant spreads faster than any other variant.

“The omicron variant is more transmissible, that means it spreads to more people, compared to the delta variant. In fact it is twice as likely to infect a person as the delta variant,” Dr. Dixon said.

Dr. Dixon also adds that the booster will be the extra protection the body needs to protect itself against omicron. He hopes it will help keep residents out of already full hospitals.

“Things are actually not good in Indiana right now with COVID-19,” Dr. Dixon said. “Many hospitals are at capacity or near capacity in terms of their existing clients if you will or patients, with COVID-19 as well as other conditions that need hospitalizations.”

Dr. Rachel Spalding with Good Samaritan says she has seen individuals and families hurt by COVID-19 which is one of the reason her and her staff continue to make sure all residents do their best to remain healthy.

“We know that it rapidly can be passed along,” Dr. Spalding said. “More so than the previous variants so that’s part of the equation because I think if I look today I’m going man, the predominant number of ventilated patients that we have right now wouldn’t be in the hospital if they, if we didn’t have COVID.”

For the vaccinated population, the question becomes how beneficial are the vaccines against the newest variant.

“We don’t see that many people vaccinated being very ill, in the ICU, in the hospital,” Dr. Spalding said. “That’s kind of the trend nationwide. You see more unvaccinated that are on ventilators etc. Now we’re keeping track of those who have the vaccine and boosted, to show the difference. We don’t have anyone in the hospital right now that has their vaccine and the booster.”

Dr. Dixon says no matter how you protect yourself against the virus, whether it be by using masks or the vaccines, some protection is better than no protection.