Jan. 12, 2022 — The CDC is making ready to replace its COVID-19 masks suggestions to emphasise the usage of N95 and KN95 masks that higher filter the virus, Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, stated Wednesday.
“We’re making ready an replace to the information on our masks web site to greatest mirror the choices which are obtainable to individuals and the completely different ranges of safety completely different masks present, and we wish to present Individuals the most effective and most up to date info to decide on what masks goes to be proper for them,” she stated at a White Home information briefing.
Whereas the higher-quality masks present higher safety, they are often uncomfortable to put on, costly, and tougher to seek out. That’s why Walensky added an vital caveat.
“Any masks is healthier than no masks, and we do encourage all Individuals to put on a well-fitting masks to guard themselves and forestall the unfold of COVID-19. That suggestion shouldn’t be going to vary,” she stated.
“Most significantly, the most effective masks that you just put on is the one you’ll put on and the one you may carry on all day lengthy and tolerate in public indoor settings.”
In the meantime, the World Well being Group was extra centered on vaccines.
WHO officers pressured Wednesday that world vaccine distribution is first precedence in defeating the extremely contagious Omicron variant, in addition to different variants which will evolve.
The WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition — a bunch of consultants assessing how COVID-19 vaccines carry out in opposition to Omicron and different rising variants — says there may be an “pressing want” for broader entry to vaccines, together with reviewing and updating present vaccines as wanted to make sure safety.
The WHO additionally disputed the concept that COVID-19 might turn into endemic in a single largely vaccinated nation, whereas the remainder of the world stays unprotected.
“It’s as much as us how this pandemic unfolds,” Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD, the WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19 response, stated at a information briefing.
The WHO has a purpose of vaccinating 70% of the inhabitants of each nation by the center of the yr.
However proper now, 90 nations have yet to succeed in 40% vaccination charges, and 36 of these nations have lower than 10% of their populations vaccinated, in accordance with WHO Director Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD.
A staggering 85% of the African inhabitants has not received a primary dose.
However progress is being made, Ghebreyesus stated on the briefing.
The WHO stated there have been over 15 million COVID-19 circumstances reported final week — probably the most ever in a single week — and that is possible an underestimate.
Again on the White Home in Washington, Walensky stated this week’s U.S. each day common COVID-19 case rely was 751,000, a rise of 47% from final week. The typical each day hospital admissions this week is nineteen,800, a rise of 33%. Deaths are up 40%, reaching 1,600 per day.
However she additionally reported new information that helps different analysis displaying Omicron could produce much less extreme illness. Kaiser Permanente Southern California launched a research Tuesday displaying that when put next with Delta infections, Omicron was related to a 53% discount in hospitalizations, a 74% discount in intensive care unit admissions, and a 91% decrease threat of loss of life.
Within the research, no sufferers with Omicron required mechanical air flow. The pressure now accounts for 98% of circumstances nationwide.
However Walensky warned the decrease illness severity shouldn’t be sufficient to make up for the sheer variety of circumstances that proceed to overwhelm hospital programs.
“Whereas we’re seeing early proof that Omicron is much less extreme than Delta and that these contaminated are much less prone to require hospitalization, it’s vital to notice that Omicron continues to be far more transmissible than Delta,” she stated. “The sudden rise in circumstances as a result of Omicron is leading to unprecedented each day case counts, illness, absenteeism, and strains on our well being care system.”