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Dr. Fauci Says Do This Right Now to Stay Safe From Omicron

"Get vaccinated, get boosted," he says.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

The coronavirus pandemic is dragging on and taking lives with it, as more than 800,000 have died since it started, and cases, deaths and hospitalizations are rising again. How can you stay safe? And should you worry about the new variant, Omicron? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared at the COVID Press Briefing yesterday, alongside CDC Chief Rochelle Walensky, with answers. Read on for 5 life-saving pieces of advice—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Should You Worry About Omicron? Here's What Fauci Says

Doctor with blood sample of Covid-19 Omicron B.1.1.529 Variant and general data of covid-19 Coronavirus Mutations.
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So Omicron is "more transmissible" but the jury is out on how severe it is? So how worried should you be about Omicron? "If you are unvaccinated, you are very vulnerable, not only to the existing Delta surge that we are experiencing, but also to Omicron," said Dr. Fauci. "And when you hear about Omicron being less severe or not, and you hear about those other things, it doesn't matter—if you are unvaccinated, you need to get vaccinated to diminish your vulnerability. And if you are vaccinated, get boosted. It is very difficult to predict, to read the tea leaves. So if you can't read the tea leaves accurately, then do the things that we've been recommending, all of the recommendations from the CDC about prudence and wearing masks in indoor crowded places that are public settings, but also continue to understand the importance for yourselves and your families and your community of getting vaccinated. Those are the tools we have. If we didn't have these tools, I would be telling you to really, really be worried, but we have tools. So get vaccinated, get boosted."

2

Dr. Fauci Said Omicron Can Evade a Two-Dose Vaccine, So Get Boosted

Nurse gives students a vaccination in school during coronavirus pandemic
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"When you get the boost, it increases to 75% effectiveness against symptomatic disease with a booster dose," said Dr. Fauci. "So what is all of this telling us very clearly and very emphatically, the Omicron variant undoubtedly compromises the effects of a two dose mRNA vaccine induced antibodies and reduces the overall protection. However …considerable protection still maintains against severe disease. The early in vitro and clinical studies…indicate that boosters reconstitute the antibody titers and enhance the vaccine protection against Omicron. And so finally, our booster vaccine regimens work against Omicron. At this point, there is no need for a variant specific booster. And so the message remains clear: if you are unvaccinated, get vaccinated, and particularly in the arena of Omicron, if you are fully vaccinated, get your booster shot."

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3

CDC Chief Warned Cases, Deaths and Hospitalizations are Rising

Nurse is comforting a covid patient at the ICU
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"The current seven day daily average of cases is about 117,900 cases per day. The seven day average of hospital admissions is about 7,800 per day, an increase of about 7.7% over the prior week. And the seven day average of daily deaths are about 1100 per day, which is an increase of about 5% previous week," said CDC Chief Dr. Rochelle Walensky. "And of course, tragically, this week as a nation, we mark 800,000 deaths from this virus"

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4

Omicron is Spreading in America

Patient in ambulance with paramedics, wearing face masks
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"Science is emerging about the Omicron variant with each passing day," said Dr. Walensky. "At least 36 states and over 75 countries reported confirmed cases caused by the Omicron variant and yesterday CDC released data that estimate the prevalence of the Omicron variant based on our national genomic sequencing analysis. Although the vast majority of cases continue to be Delta, representing about 96% of cases across the country, the variant is now estimated to represent about 3% of the cases in the United States. In some areas of the country, the estimates of Omicron are even higher, including in New York and New Jersey where CDC projects that Omicron could represent about 13% of all cases."

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5

How to Stay Safer Out There

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Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more
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