The omicron variant is still spreading throughout the United States, which has led to a new COVID-19 symptom emerging among the elderly.

The news: Medical experts in Japan have noticed an increase in elderly patients who are hospitalized from the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

  • This has led to elderly people occupying hospital beds at a concerning rate in Japan, according to The Japan News.
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The symptom: These elderly patients are suffering from acute pneumonia after infection from the omicron variant.

What they’re saying: Dr. Akira Kano, director for the Fujimino Emergency hospital in Japan, said that this has led to elderly people developing more severe COVID-19 symptoms, according to The Daily Express.

  • “Elderly patients have received vaccines twice, but that was a while ago, and they are becoming stricken with acute pneumonia.
  • “The Omicron stars are said to be ‘attenuated,’ but that is far from the truth based on what I have seen on the ground,” Kano said.
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The bigger picture: This is happening as Japan starts its mass COVID-19 booster shot release for the entire country.

  • Tokyo launched a mass vaccination drive for the booster shots this week, looking to speed up the release of the third shots, ABC News reports.
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