This past winter, children and teenagers were tremendously affected by the omicron variant. (Shutterstock)

COVID-19 has had a major effect on the entire country for the past few years as scientists and researchers are striving more and more each day to help the country become healthier for everyone. Statistics show that the coronavirus has been around us in one way or another.  

According to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of people in the United States had antibodies for COVID-19 by the end of February. Through the winter, children and teenagers were affected tremendously by the omicron variant with antibodies detected in 75% of the largely unvaccinated population. 

Research and studies have been conducted over and over to help identify key issues within the coronavirus. In one particular study, the CDC examined blood samples taken from all age groups, testing for specific antibodies that develop only after COVID infection. Overall, antibodies in the general population rose from 33.5% in December to 57.7% in February. 

Dr. Kristie Clarke, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC and lead author of the newest report stated, “This study was only looking at the presence of antibodies from prior infection and did not detect antibodies from prior vaccination or boosting.” 

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC’s director, included that this should not be interpreted to mean that antibodies from prior infection equal adequate protection against future illness. 

 “We don’t know whether that protection has waned. We don’t know as much about that level of protection than we do about the protection we get from both vaccines and boosters,” Walensky said, adding that the agency still encourages those with detectable antibodies from prior infection to get vaccinated. 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the month of January reported a spike in kids hospitalized with COVID. 

A CDC report found the increase in COVID-19 was most significant in kids – from 44.2 percent in December to 75.2% in February among children ages 11 and younger, The percentages were almost identical for kids ages 12 to 17. 

“We continue to believe that those who are vaccinated, and especially those who are boosted, continue to have strong protection against severe disease,” Walensky said during the briefing. 

Despite the recent ruling from a federal judge getting rid of a mask mandate on planes, trains and other transit systems, Walensky said during the briefing that the CDC still highly recommends the use of masks in crowded indoor settings, including on public transportation.