The Omicron Variant is now Accounting for 95 Percent of new U.S. Covid-19 Cases

The Omicron Variant is now Accounting for 95 Percent of new U.S. Covid-19 Cases

Statistics from several countries prove Omicron is taking over.

The Omicron variant caused 95.4 percent of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. last week – significantly higher than the previous week, according to estimates posted Tuesday by the CDC. The Delta variant makes up almost all of the rest of cases. A fourth dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine boosts a person’s antibodies in the space of a weeks, a study shows. According to an article,* the study is preliminary and has yet to be peer reviewed or published in a medical journal.

“This is good news,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who embraced the decision to recommend it. “That’s an indicator of a very high likelihood that the fourth dose will protect vaccinated people to a great degree against infection [and] to some degree against severe symptoms.”

Data suggests that about to 10 to 15 percent of Omicron cases in the United Kingdom are reinfections, according to the country's top scientist Dr. Neil Ferguson, who is a member of the UK government's Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE). The fact that the variant is "substantially less severe" has helped the UK "undoubtedly.”

"We would be seeing much higher case numbers in hospital otherwise. And vaccines are holding up against severe disease and against severe outcomes well, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be difficult few weeks for the NHS," he said.

Ferguson also said he is "cautiously optimistic" that cases in London may have plateaued. He added that it is too early to say fully whether cases are going down. The cities of Mumbai and New Delhi collectively recorded at least 16,341 fresh Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, according to officials. New Delhi currently has a positivity rate of 8.37 percent with 5,481 new cases and the government announced further restrictions Tuesday afternoon.

According to an article, the CDC backed the FDA’s decision to shorten the time needed between getting the initial series of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 and a booster shot from six months to five months. The CDC also agreed with the FDA’s call to authorize a third dose of the primary vaccine series for some immunocompromised children ages five to 11, consistent with their recommendation for adults who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. In the same announcement Monday, the FDA also authorized expanding booster eligibility to children ages 12 to 15. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss this issue.

“As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to update our recommendations to ensure the best possible protection for the American people. Following the FDA’s authorizations, today’s recommendations ensure people are able to get a boost of protection in the face of Omicron and increasing cases across the country, and ensure that the most vulnerable children can get an additional dose to optimize protection against COVID-19,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

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