Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing entitled “Next Steps: A Road to COVID-19 Response,” at the Dirksen Building on Thursday, November. 4, 2021.
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Americans must be prepared to do “anything and everything” to combat the omicron variant of Covid, American infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday.
However, it is “too early to say” whether blocking or new mandates would be appropriate, Fauci said on ABC’s This Week.
The World Health Organization last week classified omicron as a “variant of concern,” meaning it is more infectious, more dangerous, or more effective in evading public health measures, vaccines and therapies.
The variant, first discovered in South Africa, has several mutations in the spike protein that allows the virus to enter the body, and some of these mutations can lead to increased antibody resistance and transmissibility.
The US has already said it will restrict travel for non-US citizens from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. Found in UK, Israel, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Australia and Hong Kong, but not yet in the US.
“Inevitably, he will be here. The question is, will we be ready for it? If and when and when he comes here, I hope we will be ready for it, ”added Fauci.
Biotech companies have started to fight the omicron. Moderna chief physician Paul Burton said Sunday the vaccine maker could release a new vaccine against the omicron variant of the coronavirus early next year. It is unclear, though, whether new formulations will be required or whether existing vaccines will provide adequate protection.
Fauci said unvaccinated people should continue to receive the Covid vaccines, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We just really need to, as I have often said, prepare for the worst. And we may not have to go the way people say at all, ”Fauci told ABC. “As always, we will make decisions based on scientific evidence and evidence.”