Washington: White House Chief Medical advisor Antony Fauci on Wednesday said that the currently available booster shots work against the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and there is no need for a variant-specific booster.
"Our booster vaccine regimens work against omicron," Fauci told the public during a White House Covid update on Wednesday. "At this point, there is no need for a variant-specific booster." Fauci said the primary two-dose vaccination series from Pfizer and BioNTech is significantly compromised by omicron, but still offers considerable protection against severe disease, CNBC reported.
Protection from the two-dose vaccine against infection dropped to 33 per cent compared with 80% before the emergence of omicron. However, two doses are still 70 per cent effective at preventing hospitalization in omicron patients in South Africa, Fauci said.
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said at least 36 states in the US and over 75 countries have reported confirmed cases caused by the Omicron variant.
The Omicron variant is now estimated to represent about 3 per cent of the cases in the United States.
In some areas of the country, the director said that the estimates of Omicron are even higher, including in New York and New Jersey where CDC projects that Omicron could represent about 13 per cent of all cases.
"In looking at early data on the transmissibility of Omicron from other countries, we expect to see the proportion of Omicron cases here in the United States continue to grow in the coming weeks," he said.