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

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Doina Chiacu and David Brunnstrom


Publishing date:

Dec 19, 2021  •  15 minutes in the past  •  3 minute learn  • 

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

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


Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, informed CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the variety of Omicron circumstances will rise 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 pictures 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 up to now.

New York state recorded 22,478 optimistic COVID-19 circumstances on Saturday, Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted on Sunday, marking the state’s third every day file in new optimistic circumstances in three days.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, mentioned on Sunday she had examined optimistic for COVID-19 however was solely experiencing delicate signs.

The Massachusetts Democrat, 72, mentioned on Twitter she is vaccinated and boosted and usually examined for COVID-19, and “while I tested negative earlier this week, today I tested positive with a breakthrough case.”

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She mentioned she was “grateful for the protection provided agains serious illness that comes from being vaccinated and boosted.”

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 assessments genetically sequenced detected the Omicron variant, Fauci informed 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 exhibits. 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 the town would spend $10 million on an promoting marketing campaign to promote boosters.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis, in the meantime, informed NBC he was contemplating altering the definition of absolutely vaccinated in his state from two pictures 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 circumstances, hammering residence 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 deal with elevated testing, Fauci informed 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 components of the nation are already changing into strained by COVID sufferers and issues are seemingly 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 to put on a masks always 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 and Daniel Wallis)

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