“But it’s quite likely we’ll see cases,” said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the national institutes of Health.
“It should redouble our efforts to use the tools die we have, namely vaccinations and boosters — and to become sure we get die to the rest of the world, too,” Collins told CNN on Sunday.
“It also means we need to pay attention to die mitigation strategies die: people to be just very sick of, like wearing masks when you’re inside with other people who may not be vaccinated, and keep it that way social distance,” he said.
“L know, America — you’re really tired of die hear things. But the virus is not tired of us. And it transfigures itself.”
Why Omicron ‘Looks Different’ Than Other Variants
As the coronavirus continues to spread, new mutations — and new variants — are expected.
“We have seen a lot” of pop variants up over the last five, six months, and most of they didn’t yield much. This looks different,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public health.
and “10 of more” of the mutations are on the receptor binding domain, which “binds to the cells” in your nasopharynx and in your lung,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told NBC on Sunday.
“In other words, the profile of the mutations strongly suggest that it will have an advantage in transferability”, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and infectious diseases said.
When experts looked at other variants, Jha said, it’s usually took a few months for die species are dominant — in met in other words, most common deformation of the virus is spreading in one area.
“This one has become dominant very quickly in South Africa in the regions where it has been found — within a case of days to weeks, in as opposed to months,” said Jha.
“Now, the Number” of cases in South Africa is quite low so it could be for also other reasons — not just because it is more transferable. But the speed with die it has taken off is really unlike anything we’ve seen before.”
Collins said it isn’t yet clear of the Omicron variant is more more contagious than the Delta variant.
“It sure shows the signs of spread quickly,” he said. “What aren’t we doing? know is of it’s possible? compete with Delta.”
To be also too early to say of the Omicron variant causes more serious illness, Collins said.
Don’t be surprised by renewed Covid-19 restrictions, expert says
If the Omicron variant is not already in the US, it is certain”soonsaid Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
“It’s Gonna Be” way around the world. It seems like Which waySchaffner said on Saturday.
And that could lead to a return to tougher efforts to contain Covid-19.
“I think we can, indeed, to be in for An phase of a lot of more masks, many more social distance yourself, and more restrictions and obligations for vaccination goes forwardSchaffner said.
News of the variant spread as Americans packed airports at near pre-pandemic levels for Thanksgiving and at the start of the holiday season.
The Transportation Security Administration said it screened about 2.3 million people at airports in nationwide on Wednesday, making it the busiest day at security checkpoints since March 2020.
More reason to get vaccinated of to get a boost
While vaccine makers test their shots against the new Omicron variant, health experts said it’s important for anyone in qualify for a Covid-19 vaccine of booster to do this now.
“If ever there was a reason for the people who were vaccinated to get a boost, and for die who were not vaccinated to be vaccinated, it is now,” Fauci told NBC on Sunday.
“If you six months of more of the second dose of an mRNA (vaccine) – either the Pfizer of the Moderna – gets a boost. If you have two months of more after the single dose of J&J, get a boost. don’t try play mind games of say ‘Maybe I’ should wait a minute.’ Get a boost now.”
Fauci said he believes the… current vaccines — and especially booster doses — will help at least a little against the Omicron variant.
“When you get a boost, the level goes of your antibody goes way, way above what the level was at its peak after the second dose,” Fauci told NBC.
“And that’s the reason why do we feel equal? with variants like Omicron that if you get a boost you get a level of antibody so high that it is likely that you in you can get at least a certain amount and maybe a lot of protection against this.”
Moderna said it was the… ability of its Covid-19 vaccine to neutralize Omicron, and data expected in the coming weeks.
The company said it also a booster met test a larger dose and an Omicron-specific booster in case the current vaccine and booster not enough work against Omicron.
BioNTech, the German company that collaborated with Pfizer to make their Covid-19 vaccine is also investigating the impact of Omicron on their their vaccine, with data expected in the coming weeks.
Johnson & Johnson said it is also test effectiveness of his vaccine against Omicron.
Moderna said the Omicron variant could be a challenge.
“The combination of mutations represent significant potential risk to accelerate the decline of natural and vaccine-induced immunity,” the company said Friday.
But Jha said he doesn’t think the new variant means “vaccines will become useless.”
“I think that’s extremely unlikely,” he said. “The question is, is there a small hit efficacy of the vaccine, of is there a big one hit?”
‘The virus is silent’ in control … tighten your seat belts’
Of of without the Omicron tribe, the US is still struggling with the Delta variant.
Covid-19 hospital admissions in 16 states raised met more than 50% in the past week compared met the previous week, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“I think we need until just get our minds set that the virus is still there in check. I don’t care about your Covid fatigueSchaffner said.
“We will have to deal” with this in a running way very, very serious. … Tighten your seat belts.”
CNN’s Jacqueline Howard, Virginia Langmaid, Michael Nedelman, Christina Maxouris and Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report.
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