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Expert says ‘we’re sitting ducks for this next wave’ of COVID-19

Is the American public ready for a new wave of COVID-19?

People sit on a London Underground train.
People, some wearing masks, sit on a London Underground train on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. The American population might not be ready to face a wave from the omicron variant of the coronavirus yet, according to an expert.
Alberto Pezzali, Associated Press

The American population might not be ready to face a wave from the omicron variant of the coronavirus yet, according to an expert.

Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist and founder of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in San Diego, told CNBC Wednesday night that the American people are “sitting ducks for the next wave” of COVID-19.

  • “We’re lagging behind what we need to get out to the American public,” he said, specifically in getting booster shots.
  • He said “fully vaccinated” should mean three shots instead of two.
  • “We’re in omicron land now,” he said.

The omicron variant is on track to be the dominant variant in the United States. In fact, a new lab study found the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus spreads close to 70 times faster than the delta variant.

  • The researchers said the omicron variant “multiplies 70 times faster than the Delta variant and original SARS-CoV-2 in the human bronchus, which may explain why Omicron may transmit faster between humans than previous variants.”

However, recent research suggested the omicron variant leads to less severe COVID-19 symptoms, even though the variant has shown the power to evade vaccines, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • The research found that the two-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine provided 33% protection against omicron infection, The Washington Post reports. But the vaccine offered 77% protection against hospitalization.