Fauci says US should be prepared to fight omicron variant

Dr.Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified at the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Work and Pensions hearing titled Next Steps: The Way Forward for COVID-19 response, in the Dirksen building on Thursday November 4, 2021.

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Americans must be prepared to do “anything and everything” to fight the omicron variant of Covid, US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci said on Sunday.

Still, it’s “too early to say” whether blockages or new mandates will be appropriate, Fauci told ABC’s “This Week.”

Last week, the World Health Organization categorized omicron as “worrying variant“, which means it is more contagious, more virulent or more adept at evading public health measures, vaccines and therapies.

The variant, first discovered in South Africa, has several mutations in the spike protein that allows the virus to enter the body, and some of these mutations could lead to increased resistance and transmissibility of antibodies.

The United States had already said this would restrict travel for non-US citizens South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. The variant has been found in the UK, Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Australia and Hong Kong, but not yet in the United States

“Inevitably, it will be here. The question is whether we will be prepared for it? If and when, and when will it be, it gets here, I hope we will be ready for it,” Fauci added.

Fauci met the president on Sunday Joe biden and the Covid Response Team to discuss the variant and the administration’s response, a White House official said.

During the meeting, Fauci said that while it will take about two more weeks to have more definitive information on the transmissibility, severity and other characteristics of the variant, he believes existing vaccines are likely to provide. a degree of protection.

Fauci also reiterated that boosters for fully vaccinated people offer the strongest protection available against Covid, and stressed that adults and children who are not yet fully vaccinated should get vaccinated immediately.

Biotech companies have mobilized to fight omicron. Moderna ‘Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton said on Sunday that the vaccine maker could deploy a reformulated vaccine against the omicron variant of the coronavirus early next year. Although it is not clear whether new formulations will be needed or whether current vaccines will provide adequate protection.

Fauci said unvaccinated people should still receive available Covid vaccines, according to the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We really have to, as I’ve said so often, prepare for the worst. And we may not have to go the way people say,” Fauci told ABC. “We will make decisions based on science and evidence, as we always do.”

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