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 reside Omicron viruses combined with the serum — the clear a part of the blood — of vaccinated or beforehand contaminated folks must be prepared subsequent week.
The outcomes of these assessments ought to give us a greater concept about how nicely protected Individuals 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 Crew, says information exhibits the Omicron variant has swiftly turn out to be the primary 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 in a position to 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 information 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 fee 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 information might 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 massive Anime 2021 convention in New York Metropolis have been in a position to contact about 35,000 of the 53,000 individuals who had been estimated to have attended.
“Knowledge from this investigation will seemingly present among the earliest seems to be 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 around the globe.