The omicron variant of the coronavirus will infect “just about everybody” across the country, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House medical adviser.

Yes, but: Vaccinated people “very likely, with some exceptions, do reasonably well,” Fauci said during a virtual “fireside chat” with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

  • Vaccinated people will avoid hospitalization and death, he said.
Related
Omicron variant peaking on the East Coast. So what happens next?
The omicron variant symptoms you should worry about
The major omicron variant symptoms you have might have missed

The other side: Fauci warned unvaccinated people that there will be severe outcomes, per The Washington Post.

  • “Those who are still unvaccinated are going to get the brunt of the severe aspect of this,” he said.
  • “And although it is less severe on a case-by-case basis, when you quantitatively have so many people who are infected, a fraction of them … are going to die,” he said.

Why this matters: Fauci’s comments speak to the high transmissibility and infectiousness of the omicron variant. It’s clearly spreading fast and evading COVID-19 vaccines.

Quick flashback: An official at the World Health Organization warned that the omicron variant will infect about half of Europe’s population in the next six to eight weeks, per The New York Times.

The bottom line: Full vaccination and COVID-19 booster shots can keep you protected from severe outcomes related to a COVID-19 infection.