Vaccinations and booster shots continue to be the best defense against the coronavirus for the U.S., even with the spread of the new Omicron variant, which now has been reported in at least 15 states, health officials said Sunday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the Vaccines developed to fight the original COVID-19 strain had offered good protection against the delta variant, the dominant theme in the U.S. He believes they will help with Omicron, especially for those who also get a booster shot.
When Tapper pointed out that hospitalizations are not increasing rapidly in South Africa, where Omicron was first reported last month, despite what appears to be a high degree of transmissibility, Fauci offered tempered optimism.Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that while Omicron has rightfully raised concerns, the delta variant, accounting for 99.9% of the 90,000 to 100,000 cases reported each day in the U.S., remains the primary strain to contend with.
The U.S. has recorded more than 49 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 788,000 deaths,To fight all forms of COVID, she recommended that people get vaccinations and boosters and wear masks in public indoor settings in the 80% of counties where there is high or substantial transmission of the disease.