Christmas movement will trigger the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, surprisingly among the completely vaccinated, according to top US infectious disease expert.
“There’s no doubt about this, [Omicron] has an extraordinary capability of spreading,”
Dr Anthony Fauci told NBC’s Meet the Press program last Sunday.
Dr Fauci, who counsel the US government on the epidemic, said the variant was now
“raging through the world”.
Countries are screwing up measures as the steadily mutated variant spreads.
In Europe, France and Germany are inclusive of those to issue travel limitations and the Netherlands has forced a strict lock-down already over Christmas.
Governments are as well ramping up their Covid booster vaccination programs following researchers statement that the additional shot could provide around 85% protection against acute illness.
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On Sunday, Dr Fauci said the quick spread of Omicron in the US could have a serious consequence on health services across the country.
“Our hospitals, if things look like they’re looking now, are going to be very stressed,” he warned.
Dr Fauci said people needed to take precautions such as wearing face masks and social distancing. He also urged more Americans to get their vaccine and booster shots.
“The difference between a vaccinated and boosted person who has an infection, and someone who has an infection who has never been vaccinated – it’s a major difference with regard to the risk of severity,”
At a White House press briefing on Friday, Dr Fauci said those not vaccinated were at a much higher risk of serious infection and hospitalization.
“We are looking over our shoulder at an oncoming Omicron surge,”
he said, adding:
“The fully vaccinated are doing much better… the optimum protection is fully vaccinated plus a boost.”
Dr Fauci gave the warnings as two US Senators, Democrats Elizabeth Warren, 72, and Cory Booker, 52, declared they had tested positive for the virus.
Nearly 73% of the US population has received not less than one Covid vaccination, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So far, almost 30% have had a booster shot.
The latest CDC estimates suggest the Omicron variant accounts for approximately 3% of current cases, most of which have been recorded in the state of New York.
Since the start of the epidemic, the US has recorded over 50 million cases of corona virus, and over 800,000 Covid-related deaths.