A vaccine that targets the specific disease omicron coronavirusAs long as the individual is fully up-to-date on vaccines and booster shots, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday, citing recent data on vaccine longevity.
“Our booster regimens work against omicron,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said at a White House press briefing that featured supporting data from the agency, as well as from vaccine maker Pfizer-BioNTech, Rockefeller University in New York, and South African clinical studies. “At this point, there is no need for a variant-specific booster.”
Although some preliminary data was presented, it showed that many individuals still had substantial omicron fighter antibodies several weeks after they were given a booster shot. In one case, there was a 38-fold increase. But this wasn’t the case for those who had received only two doses of an mRNA vaccine, such as the ones produced by Pfizer and Moderna.
Data showed that those who were not yet vaccinated had a higher level of antibodies than others to combat the viruses such as the delta and omicron variants. But their antibodies dropped dramatically in the fight against the latter within weeks.
“The omicron variant undoubtedly compromises the effects of two-dose mRNA vaccine-induced antibodies and reduces the overall protection,” Fauci said, adding that “considerable protection still maintains against severe disease.”
“So the message remains clear: If you are unvaccinated get vaccinated. And particularly in the arena of omicron, if you are fully vaccinated, get your booster shot,” he said.
Only 3% of all cases have been reported in the U.S.A since then. first case was detectedIt was in full swing two weeks earlier. The cases have been steadily increasing, and a model by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tuesday suggested that the U.S. may see an increase in omicron-related cases by next month. The Washington Post reported.
“Omicron is spreading at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant,” the director of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at a separate press conferenceWednesday, He urged people not just to get vaccinated, but also to wear masks and social distance to slow the virus’s spread.
The number of cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. has steadily increased since October. This is likely because vaccines are starting to wear off, once again highlighting the need for people to get boosters, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at Wednesday’s White House press conference.
“Vaccination, boosting and masking are especially critical for those who are most vulnerable, including seniors, pregnant people and those who are immunocompromised,” she said.
In the case of nursing homes, where 60% of eligible seniors have received a booster shot so far, Walensky said coronavirus cases among senior residents have been steadily increasing over the past several weeks among those who are unvaccinated and those who have been vaccinated but haven’t received a booster.
“For those who are fully vaccinated, we are starting to see cases increase, which is likely due to the waning of vaccine protection over time,” she said.
“But the good news is that these data show that nursing home residents who are fully vaccinated and have received a booster dose have a 10-times lower rate of getting SARS-CoV-2,” the virus that causes COVID-19, “in comparison to those residents who have only received a primary vaccination series or are unvaccinated,” she said.