Fauci says U.S. should prepare to do anything and everything to fight the omicron variant

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  • US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that Americans need to be prepared to do “anything and everything” to fight the Omicron COVID version.
  • Still, it’s “too early to say” whether a lockdown or new mandates will be appropriate, Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.”

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US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that Americans need to be prepared to do “anything and everything” to fight the Omicron COVID version.

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Still, it’s “too early to say” whether a lockdown or new mandates will be appropriate, Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.”

The World Health Organization last week classified Omicron as a “concern type,” meaning it is more infectious, more virulent or more efficient at evading public health measures, vaccines and therapeutics.

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The variant, first discovered in South Africa, has several mutations in the spike protein that allow the virus to enter the body, and some of those mutations may increase antibody resistance and transmission efficiency.

The US has already said it would restrict travel to non-US citizens from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. The version has been found in the UK, Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Australia and Hong Kong, but not yet in the US

“Essentially, it will be here. The question is, will we be ready for it? If and when, and when it’s going to happen, hopefully we’ll be ready for it,” Fauci said.

Biotech companies have swung into action to fight Omicron. Moderna’s chief medical officer Paul Burton said on Sunday that the vaccine maker could develop an improved vaccine against the Omicron coronavirus virus as early as next year. However it is not clear whether new formulations will be needed or whether current vaccines will provide appropriate protection.

Fauci said COVID vaccination should still be available to unvaccinated people, according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fauci told ABC, “As I’ve often said, we really need to prepare for the worst. And it may not be that we have to go down the route people are saying.” “We will, as always, make decisions based on science and evidence.”

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