New U.S. push for vaccines, boosters to stem ‘raging’ Omicron

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Doina Chiacu and David Brunnstrom


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WASHINGTON — U.S. well being officers urged Americans on Sunday to get booster photographs, put on masks and watch out in the event that they journey over the winter holidays, with the Omicron variant raging the world over and sure to take over because the dominant pressure within the United States.

The authorities is gearing up for the subsequent part of battle in a two-year battle in opposition to a virus that has killed 800,000 and disrupted each facet of day by day life.

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, instructed CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the variety of Omicron circumstances will go up steeply within the subsequent two weeks.

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“A big message for today is if you’ve had vaccines and a booster, you’re very well protected against Omicron causing you severe disease. So, anybody listening to this who’s in that 60% of Americans who are eligible for a booster but haven’t yet gotten one: This is the week to do it. Do not wait,” he mentioned.

Omicron is multiplying quickly, making COVID-19 vaccinations and booster photographs extra essential than ever, chief White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci mentioned on Sunday. Currently 27% of U.S. residents haven’t gotten even a single dose of vaccine, in accordance to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It is just, you know, raging through the world,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, mentioned on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

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Omicron has been present in 43 out of fifty U.S. states and round 90 international locations thus far.

The variety of circumstances is doubling in 1.5 to 3 days in areas with group transmission, the World Health Organization mentioned on Saturday.

In sure areas of the United States, 50% of the COVID exams genetically sequenced detected the Omicron variant, Fauci instructed CNN, “which means it’s going to take over.”

The virus is forcing sports activities groups to reschedule video games and leisure venues to cancel reveals. The National Basketball Association postponed 5 further video games on Sunday.

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In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents to get vaccinated or get a booster shot and mentioned town would spend $10 million on an promoting marketing campaign to promote boosters.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis, in the meantime, instructed NBC he was contemplating altering the definition of absolutely vaccinated in his state from two photographs to three. “I wish they’d stop talking about it as a booster. It really is a three-dose vaccine,” he mentioned.


President Joe Biden plans to give a speech on Tuesday concerning the rising COVID case stage, hammering dwelling his message to unvaccinated Americans to get a shot and for those that are vaccinated to get a booster.

Part of Biden’s technique is to give attention to elevated testing, Fauci instructed CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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“We really need to flood the system with testing. We need to have tests available for anyone who wants them,” he mentioned.

Hospitals in some elements of the nation are already turning into strained by COVID sufferers and issues are possible to worsen, the well being officers mentioned.

“The government is prepared now to start sending out surge teams as needed to places that are really hit hard and the president’s going to have more to say about that in a speech on Tuesday,” Collins mentioned.

Neither Fauci nor Collins urged vaccinated Americans to cancel journey plans – simply put on a masks on a regular basis in airports, on planes, trains and buses.

“I’m not going to say you shouldn’t travel, but you should do so very carefully,” Collins mentioned.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and David Brunnstrom; Additional reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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