Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was asked what he expects to see from the omicron variant, specifically if the U.S. could see record case numbers, as well as record hospitalizations and deaths.
- “Yes, well, unfortunately, I think that that is going to happen,” he said on CNN.
- He added: “We are going to see a significant stress in some regions of the country on the hospital system, particularly in those areas where you have a low level of vaccination, which is one of the reasons why we continue to stress the importance of getting those unvaccinated people vaccinated.”
- “The idea about hoping and having an aspiration to be independent of the virus after a period of time is understandable and reasonable,” Fauci said. “But the one thing that we know from, now, almost two years’ experience with this virus is that it is really very unpredictable.”
Indeed, a new model from United Kingdom researchers found that the COVID-19 booster shot could provide about 85% more protection against severe COVID-19 symptoms from the omicron variant, according to BBC News. The researchers used a modeling system to determine how well boosters could fight omicron.
- “One remaining uncertainty is how severe the disease caused by the omicron variant is compared to disease caused by previous variants,” said Azra Ghani, a professor and researcher at Imperial College. “Whilst it may take several weeks to fully understand this, governments will need to put in place plans now to mitigate any potential impact. Our results demonstrate the importance of delivering booster doses as part of the wider public health response.”