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Dr. Fauci Just Issued This New Omicron Warning

“We are dealing with a highly, highly transmissible variant that spreads rapidly,” warned Dr. Fauci.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

COVID cases contine to climb to record levels. "The current seven day daily average of cases is about 491,700 cases per day, an increase of about 98% from the previous week," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the head of the CDC, minutes ago at the COVID press briefing. "The seven day average of hospital admissions is about 14,000 to 800 per day, an increase of about 63% over the previous week. And the seven day average of daily deaths are about 1,200 per day, which is an increase of about 5% over the prior week." What does this mean for you? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared alongside Walensky to discuss the severity of Omicron and how you can protect yourself against it. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Dr. Fauci Said Omicron is "Highly, Highly Transmissible"

Doctor analyzing patient blood and nasal swab testing sample for new covid-19 mutation.
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"Without a doubt, unequivocally, we are dealing with a highly, highly transmissible variant that spreads rapidly," warned Dr. Fauci. "The data are overwhelming in that regard. Number two, immune evasion—Omicron evades immune vaccine protection against symptomatic disease, and to some extent to severe disease, however…laboratory and clinical data indicate that booster shots reconstitute vaccine protection, even against Omicron." 

2

Dr. Fauci Said Omicron is Proving to Be Less Severe But You Still Must Be Very Careful Not to Get It

Young woman sitting alone on her sofa at home and coughing.
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Dr. Fauci said all signs are showing that Omicon is leading to less severe illness—a good sign. However he warned strongly, "we should not be complacent since the increased transmissibility ion may be might be overridden by the sheer volume of the number of cases that may be a reduced severity, but could still stress our hospital system because a certain proportion of a large volume of cases, no matter what are going to be severe. So don't take this as a signal that we can pull back from the recommendations … about the need for vaccination, for boosting, for wearing masks and all the other CDC recommendations."

3

Dr. Walensky Said Omicron Represents 95% of Cases in America

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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"Over the last several weeks, and over the holidays, we seen a significant and rapid increase in COVID-19 cases. This increase reflects both cases caused by the Delta variant and more importantly, now cases surging from the Omicron variant. Over the past month, we have seen the percentage of Omicron cases increase and the percentage of Delta cases decrease based on CDC, genomic sequencing, we now estimate that Omicron represents about 95% of cases in the country," said Dr. Walensky. "And Delta represents the remaining 5% of the cases."

4

Dr. Walensky Said Here are Some New Vaccine and Booster Rules

Doctor holding syringe, medical injection in hand with glove.
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"The sharp rise in cases and the emergence of the more transmissible Omicron variant emphasizes the importance of vaccinations and boosters. This week, FFDA made several vaccine authorizations and CDC followed these authorizations by making additional vaccine recommendations. First, FDA authorized and CDC recommended shortening the window in which people who receive the Pfizer COVID 19 vaccine can get a booster dose from six months to five months. Second FDA authorized and CDC recommended that children ages five to 11, who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should get an additional primary shot of the Pfizer COVID 19 vaccine, 28 days after their second shot to provide them additional protection. And today CDCs advisory committee on immunization practices is meeting to discuss boosters for those 12 to 15 years old after FDA's authorization on Monday."

She added: "Current data demonstrate that receiving a booster dose is critical to provide protection against COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. CDC surveillance data and other studies from around the world have demonstrated the benefit of booster dose after receiving only a primary series, including decreased risk of infection, severe disease and death caused by COVID-19. In large national studies from Israel, comparing those who are boosted with those who are fully vaccinated, a booster dose decreased infection by 10 times in all age groups. Similarly in those studies boosters resulted in a decrease in severe disease in individuals over 60 years old by 18 times, and decreased severe disease in people age 40 to 59 years old by 22 times, and people who received a boost shot had 90% lower mortality due to COVID-19 than those who did not receive a booster shot while these studies were done."

5

How to Stay Safe 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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