Fauci says Covid boosters work against omicrons, no need for a third shot dedicated to each variant

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during the daily White House briefing in Washington, Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

Susan Walsh | AP

The current booster shots are effective against the omicron variant of Covid-19 and do not need to be adjusted to fight the new strain of the virus, White House chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci said on Wednesday. , very contagious at this point.

“Our enhanced vaccine regimens work against omicrons,” Fauci told the public in Wednesday’s Covid White House update. “At this point, it’s not necessary to enhance for a particular variant.”

Fauci said the main two-dose series of vaccinations from Pfizer and BioNTech significantly damaged by omicrons, but still provides significant protection against severe disease. Protection from the two-dose vaccine against infection fell to 33% from 80% before the appearance of omicrons. However, the two doses were still 70 percent effective in preventing hospitalization in omicron patients in South Africa, Fauci said.

“Obviously, this number has dropped significantly but there is still some degree of protection against hospitalization,” Fauci said.

A booster dose increases protection from symptomatic disease by 75%, Fauci said, citing data from the UK Health Security Agency.

“And so the message is still clear. If you haven’t been vaccinated, get vaccinated, and especially in the omicron arena if you’re fully vaccinated, get a booster,” Fauci said.

White House coordinator Jeff Zient said unvaccinated people were eight times more likely to be hospitalized and 14 times more likely to die than those who were fully immunized.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said omicrons have been detected in 36 states so far, and this variant accounts for about 3% of Covid-19 cases nationwide. However, omicron infections are much more likely in New York and New Jersey, she said, accounting for about 13% of cases.

“Early data shows that omicrons are easier to transmit than delta with a doubling time of about two days,” says Walensky.

According to CDC data, 61% of Americans are fully vaccinated against Covid, and 27% of them have been vaccinated.

About 68,000 Americans were hospitalized with Covid-19, according to seven-day average of Health and Human Services data as of Thursday, up 9% from the previous week and 21% over the past two weeks. Fauci says Covid boosters work against omicrons, no need for a third shot dedicated to each variant

Ryan Perry

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