WASHINGTON (WTVO) – People vaccinated against COVID-19 will stand the best chance against the widespread omicron variant that “everybody” may catch, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday.
In a Senate hearing on Jan. 11, Fauci said that the variant’s “unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility” means that almost everyone, vaccinated or not, will likely be exposed. According to CNN, he said that vaccinations provide better protection from a severe case, while unvaccinated people will “get the brunt of the severe aspect of this.”
“Some [vaccinated people], maybe a lot of them, will get infected but will very likely, with some exceptions, do reasonably well in the sense of not having hospitalization and death,” Fauci said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 62 percent of the US population is fully vaccinated, and about 36 percent have received a booster shot. About 79 percent of the eligible population, which now includes children age 5 or older, have received at least one dose. Meanwhile, about 65 million eligible Americans remain unvaccinated.
Also in question at the hearing was whether or not the US should change its COVID-19 strategy. Dr. Janet Woodstock, acting commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration said the focus should shift to keeping hospitals and other essential services running properly.
“What we need to do is make sure the hospitals can still function, transportation, you know, other essential services are not disrupted while this happens,” Woodstock said.
The CDC posted estimates that Omicron is responsible for about 98 percent of new COVID cases last week, up about 6 percent from the week before. CDC data also shows that more than 5 million new cases were reported in the past week.