Dec. 7, 2021 — Research are underway in check tubes and animals to find out whether or not the brand new Omicron variant of the coronavirus can slip previous the immune safety of vaccination or a earlier an infection.

Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illnesses, mentioned the outcomes from checks of disabled and reside Omicron viruses blended with the serum — the clear a part of the blood — of vaccinated or beforehand contaminated folks needs to be prepared subsequent week.

The outcomes of these checks ought to give us a greater concept about how effectively protected Individuals could also be towards the brand new menace of this extremely mutated variant.

Fauci, talking at a briefing of the White Home COVID-19 Response Staff, says knowledge exhibits the Omicron variant has swiftly grow to be the primary trigger of recent COVID-19 infections in South Africa.

“Strongly suggesting a dominant functionality of that variant over others,” he mentioned.

The state of affairs in South Africa shouldn’t be precisely the identical as what’s taking place within the U.S. South Africa has not been capable of vaccinate as many individuals because the U.S. has. Even given these variations, Fauci says the image in South Africa says rather a lot about Omicron’s runaway unfold and its potential to trigger new instances to spike on this nation.

These new instances is probably not as critical as we’ve seen with Alpha or Delta. Early knowledge on severity is encouraging.

“It’s too early to have the ability to decide the exact severity of illness … however it seems with the instances we’re seeing, we aren’t seeing a really extreme profile of illness,” he mentioned.

Fauci mentioned the hospitalization price for omicron instances appears to be decrease than it has been beneath earlier variants, and sufferers who do find yourself within the hospital appear to be much less prone to want oxygen.

However he cautioned that this knowledge may very well be biased as a result of the earliest instances in South Africa have been reported in youthful folks, who are likely to have much less critical instances anyway.

“Hopefully, within the subsequent few weeks we’ll get a a lot clearly image,” he mentioned.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, mentioned groups working to trace the unfold of Omicron after the massive Anime 2021 convention in New York Metropolis have been capable of contact about 35,000 of the 53,000 individuals who had been estimated to have attended.

“Information from this investigation will probably present a number of the earliest appears to be like on this nation of the transmissibility of this variant,” she mentioned.

Within the meantime, Omicron isn’t ready. Sor far, it has proven up in 17 states and greater than 50 international locations world wide.