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 Illnesses, mentioned the outcomes from checks of disabled and stay Omicron viruses blended with the serum — the clear a part of the blood — of vaccinated or beforehand contaminated folks needs to be prepared subsequent week.
The outcomes of these checks ought to give us a greater concept about how properly protected People could also be towards the brand new menace 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 turn out to be the primary trigger of latest COVID-19 infections in South Africa.
“Strongly suggesting a dominant functionality of that variant over others,” he mentioned.
The state of affairs in South Africa is just not precisely the identical as what’s occurring 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 rather a lot about Omicron’s runaway unfold and its potential to trigger new instances to spike on this nation.
These new instances will not be 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 … but it surely seems with the instances we’re seeing, we aren’t seeing a really extreme profile of illness,” he mentioned.
Fauci mentioned the hospitalization price for omicron instances appears to be decrease than it has been beneath earlier variants, and sufferers who do find yourself within the hospital appear to be much less prone to want oxygen.
However he cautioned that this knowledge could possibly be biased as a result of the earliest instances in South Africa have been reported in youthful folks, 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.
“Knowledge from this investigation will doubtless present among the earliest appears to be like 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 international locations all over the world.