On Wednesday, federal health officials said they’re ready for an attack of the fast-spreading Omicron COVID-19 variant but said if people get inoculated and boosted, they should be all right. There is no need for variant-specific jabs while hedging that US citizens should receive additional shots because it is a reasonable thing to do.
At a press conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s Chief Medical Adviser, said booster doses of the coronavirus jabs already in use are enough to fight the fast-transmitting new variant. So that is improbable the doses will need to be reformulated to target the Omicron version specifically.
The U.S. health officials also noted that the highly contagious Delta variant is causing a lot of trouble on its own. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projected a rise in the rate of COVID-related deaths in the upcoming weeks. Moreover, it predicted between 837000 and 845000 people would have died of COVID-19 by 8th January.
If you are vaccinated but still worried about the new variant, get your booster.
If you aren’t vaccinated, go get that first shot.
We’ll fight the Omicron variant, together.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 16, 2021
According to John Hopkins University data, an average of nearly 0.12M new coronavirus cases are being diagnosed daily – 50 percent more than around a month ago. And, on average, over twelve hundred people are dying daily.
“Optimal is getting a booster dose if fully vaccinated” – Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Fauci told CNN’s Wolf Isaac Blitzer that they’re already in a Delta surge and the infections are increasing. They’ve a rise in the percentage of hospital admissions due to COVID. And fatalities are still over a thousand. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases added that they’ve, looking over their shoulder, Omicron version, which they realize, from what is going on in the United Kingdom and in Southern Africa, is a more transmissible virus.
Anthony Fauci said that is the reason why they’re encouraging people, if they’ve not been inoculated, to get immunized but, as importantly, for those who have been fully inoculated to receive a booster. There’s no doubt the Omicron variant will infect people who have been immunized.
Fauci said Wednesday that their booster jab regimens work against omicron. So currently, there is no need for a variant-specific booster dose.
Fauci said there’d be breakthrough COVID-19 infections, no doubt about that. When asked whether that means the federal administration should redefine if it means to be fully inoculated, Dr. Fauci said that isn’t really important. He added that they realize what optimal is; that is getting a boost in their immunity.
So, instead of worrying about what the definition of fully vs. not fully is, he’s telling people, if they want to be optimally protected against the lethal virus and people are immunized, receive boosters. That is the message and not concern about a definition.
For now, the US government considers people to be fully inoculated if they’ve gotten initial vaccinations of Pfizer’s or Moderna’s jab, or a single dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson’s, even with a solid endorsement to add a shot to any of those regimens.
Messenger-RNA Or Janssen Vaccine?
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the US CDC director, told the White House COVID-19 briefing that the definition right now is two shots of messenger-RNA jab or a single dose of J&J vaccine. But, more important is getting more people immunized, according to Fauci.
Furthermore, Fauci said that the susceptible people are those who haven’t been inoculated, and he hopes that the possibility that they’re seeing – that they’re going to be getting a surge of Omicron infections, which is almost expected given its characteristic of the high degree of spread. They’ve the tools to be able to blunt that and they just need to implement them.
EMA Recommends Two New COVID-19 Treatments
On Dec. 16, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the European Union’s drug regulator, recommended two new medications against COVID-19 for use among EU member states, as well as offered advice on the use of another, pending its approval. In separate statements on its website, the EMA recommended using America-made Xevudy and Swedish-made drug Kineret to treat coronavirus disease.
The EMA also authorized GlaxoSmithKline’s recommended Xevudy for treating children and adults suffering from COVID who don’t require supplemental oxygen and are at high-risk of the coronavirus disease becoming severe. The European drug regulator cited data indicating a monoclonal antibody drug Xevudy effectively prevented severe COVID symptoms and hospital admissions.
Read Also: GlaxoSmithKline Says Lab. Analysis Shows Drug Works Against Omicron Variant