NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions come as scientists are researching new COVID- 19 variants. Meharry Medical College President and CEO Dr. James Hildreth said this is why it's important that everyone is vaccinated and boosted.
The Supreme Court has stopped the Biden administration from enforcing a requirement that employees at large businesses be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask on the job.
"I think the implications of the Supreme Court decision are pretty obvious that we're going to have an even bigger challenge on our hands than we had before, especially with omicron," Hildreth said.
Dr. Hildreth has been a scientific voice on the fight against COVID-19 from the very beginning of the pandemic.
"I think the decision is a big setback and we just need to brace ourselves for what's going to happen because of it."
Two years later, the numbers continue to climb — one out of every 33 Nashvillians is currently infected with COVID-19.
"I would encourage everyone to get vaccinated because omicron may not be the last variant that we have to deal with, because there are large groups of people all over the world who are still not vaccinated," Hildreth said.
Those who are vaccinated should have a total of three shots said Hildreth. He says if you received the Johnson & Johnson shot you should get two boosters two months apart.
Hildreth says if more of the population goes without getting vaccinated or boosted, this could also mean more variants.
"I would encourage everyone to get vaccinated because omicron may not be the last variant that we have to deal with, because there are large groups of people all over the world who are still not vaccinated," Hildreth said. "As long as that is the case, new variants can arise in those populations. So we need to get everyone vaccinated. "
Hildreth is also recommending people wear an N95 or KN95 mask to help stop the spread. He says if you can't find these types of masks to wear a surgical mask under a cloth mask.