Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Ailments, testifies in the course of the Senate Well being, Schooling, Labor and Pensions Committee listening to titled Subsequent Steps: The Highway Forward for the COVID-19 Response, in Dirksen Constructing on Thursday, November 4, 2021.
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People have to be ready to do “something and all the things” to battle the omicron Covid variant, U.S. infectious illness skilled Dr. Anthony Fauci stated Sunday.
Nonetheless, it is “too early to say” whether or not lockdowns or new mandates might be applicable, Fauci stated on ABC’s “This Week.”
The World Well being Group final week categorized omicron as a “variant of concern,” which means it’s extra contagious, extra virulent or extra expert at evading public well being measures, vaccines and therapeutics.
The variant, first found in South Africa, has a number of mutations to the spike protein that permits the virus to enter the physique, and a few of these mutations may result in elevated antibody resistance and transmissibility.
The U.S. had already stated it would restrict travel for non-U.S. citizens from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. The variant has been found within the U.K., Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Australia and Hong Kong, however not but within the U.S.
“Inevitably, will probably be right here. The query is will we be ready for it? If and when, and it is going to be when, it comes right here hopefully we might be prepared for it,” Fauci added.
Biotech corporations have sprung into motion to battle in opposition to omicron. Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton stated Sunday the vaccine maker could roll out a reformulated vaccine in opposition to the omicron coronavirus variant early subsequent yr. Though it is not clear whether or not new formulations might be wanted or if present vaccines will present applicable safety.
Fauci stated unvaccinated individuals ought to nonetheless get accessible Covid vaccinations, per the suggestions of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
“We simply really want to, as I’ve stated so usually, put together for the worst. And it might not be that we’ll must go the route persons are saying,” Fauci advised ABC. “We’ll make selections based mostly on the science and proof as we all the time do.”