Federal government health officials had a clear message for the public on Friday, after cases of the omicron variant were detected in more states and experts worked to find out just how dangerous the latest version of COVID-19 could be. : “Get vaccinated and put on the booster.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser, laid out the science behind the expert opinion that a booster could help even with omicron variant mutations, citing recent studies showing an increase in Post-boost antibodies that can help fight a number of variants.
About 43 million people have received a booster dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracker, including one million Thursday out of a total of 2.2 million, the highest day since. May. About 100 million are eligible.
The health authorities affirm that it still takes more time to verify the effectiveness of current vaccines against the omicron variant, but they point out that it is best to protect yourself with vaccination and a booster, if you can opt for it.
The data “strongly suggests that the boosters will give you cross-protection against a number of variants,” Dr. Fauci said Friday at a White House briefing on COVID-19.
“There are many reasons to believe that if you are vaccinated and boosted, you will have at least some degree of cross-protection, most likely against severe disease, including the omicron variant,” he added. “Get vaccinated and put on the booster.”
Meanwhile, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson are working on developing specific booster vaccines for the variant, although it is unclear if they will have to use them.
“Now they are assuming that they may have to and are preparing for it,” Fauci said.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Friday that her agency was working with public health departments across the country to continue tracking omicron cases, support contact tracing and urge testing.
However, he said, the CDC’s recommendations for fighting this variant are ultimately the same as for the delta variant, which continues to make up the majority of cases in the United States.
CDC Further Recommends Booster Dose Vaccine #COVID19. People 18 years of age and older should get a booster dose 6 months after the initial Pfizer or Moderna series or 2 months after the initial J&J vaccination. Plus https://t.co/vYjMRGZP9B pic.twitter.com/qP76187Ibu
– CDC in Spanish (@CDCespanol) December 2, 2021
“We are urging providers to have all Americans put on the brace immediately,” he said. “Our best protection against COVID-19 is our layered, proven prevention strategies.”
President Joe Biden on Thursday laid out his administration’s plan to fight COVID-19 in the coming winter months, a strategy that includes tightening restrictions on international travel, distributing rapid tests at health clinics and community centers, the launch of more booster sites and the eventual coverage of the cost of rapid tests for those with health insurance.
At the local level here in the city, Councilor Mark Levine put a message on social networks in which he also exhorts the population to be vaccinated and to put the reinforcement among other measures.
“Are you worried about trying to find out if one of the New York City omnicron cases is in your neighborhood?” Levin wonders.
“Don’t waste time with that question. We have extended community here now. Suppose you are out there.
“This is what you should do: get vaccinated, put on the booster, wear masks, get tested, stay home if you are sick,” the message continues.
Are you worried trying to figure out it one of NYC’s omnicron cases is in your neighborhood?
Don’t waste time on that question. We have community spread here now. Assume it’s out there.
Here’s what you need to do: get vax’d, boosted, wear masks, get tested, stay home if sick.
— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) December 3, 2021
US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy also said Friday that a new information campaign to promote the reinforcements would reach out to communities of color and Native communities and flow through “every channel in which people It is reported, “such as webinars, town halls, email, phone, banking, text, social media, postcards, and newspaper ads,” almost everything but carrier pigeons. “
The administration’s health team also stressed on Friday that the nation was much more prepared to deal with the omicron than it was a year ago, mostly thanks to lessons from the delta.
“I continue to be immensely encouraged by the extraordinary strides we have made in the last year,” said Murthy. “We are on the right track and we are learning more about how to stay on the right track.”