Dec. 7, 2021 — Research are underway in check tubes and animals to find out whether or not the brand new Omicron variant of the coronavirus can slip previous the immune safety of vaccination or a earlier an infection.
Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Ailments, mentioned the outcomes from assessments of disabled and stay Omicron viruses combined with the serum — the clear a part of the blood — of vaccinated or beforehand contaminated individuals must be prepared subsequent week.
The outcomes of these assessments ought to give us a greater concept about how effectively protected People could also be towards the brand new risk of this extremely mutated variant.
Fauci, talking at a briefing of the White Home COVID-19 Response Group, says knowledge exhibits the Omicron variant has swiftly change into the principle trigger of recent COVID-19 infections in South Africa.
“Strongly suggesting a dominant functionality of that variant over others,” he mentioned.
The scenario in South Africa will not be precisely the identical as what’s taking place within the U.S. South Africa has not been capable of vaccinate as many individuals because the U.S. has. Even given these variations, Fauci says the image in South Africa says quite a bit about Omicron’s runaway unfold and its potential to trigger new instances to spike on this nation.
These new instances is probably not as severe as we’ve seen with Alpha or Delta. Early knowledge on severity is encouraging.
“It’s too early to have the ability to decide the exact severity of illness … however it seems with the instances we’re seeing, we’re not seeing a really extreme profile of illness,” he mentioned.
Fauci mentioned the hospitalization charge for omicron instances appears to be decrease than it has been underneath earlier variants, and sufferers who do find yourself within the hospital appear to be much less more likely to want oxygen.
However he cautioned that this knowledge may very well be biased as a result of the earliest instances in South Africa have been reported in youthful individuals, who are inclined to have much less severe instances anyway.
“Hopefully, within the subsequent few weeks we’ll get a a lot clearly image,” he mentioned.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, mentioned groups working to trace the unfold of Omicron after the big Anime 2021 convention in New York Metropolis have been capable of contact about 35,000 of the 53,000 individuals who had been estimated to have attended.
“Information from this investigation will probably present a few of the earliest appears on this nation of the transmissibility of this variant,” she mentioned.
Within the meantime, Omicron isn’t ready. Sor far, it has proven up in 17 states and greater than 50 nations world wide.