Top US immunologist Anthony Fauci echoes Joe Biden on boosters, panic around omicron variant

Anthony Fauci said that while the emergence of the new strain is a matter of concern, there was no need for panic as there were more “tools at our disposal.”
Anthony Fauci said that boosters bolstered the protection offered by the vaccines against “any variant” of the disease.(AFP)
Anthony Fauci said that boosters bolstered the protection offered by the vaccines against “any variant” of the disease.(AFP)
Published on Nov 30, 2021 09:15 AM IST
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Written by Srivatsan K C | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

After US President Joe Biden urged American citizens to not panic over omicron, his chief medical advisor Dr Anthony Fauci on Monday echoed his views and emphasised vaccination against coronavirus disease (Covid-19), even as the world scrambled to bring in more preventive measures to check the surge in cases due to the new variant.

Fauci said that while the emergence of the new strain is a matter of concern, there was no need for panic as there were more “tools at our disposal.” He also said that the next move would be made based on more data and research about the new variant.

“The single takeaway that the president emphasised is that this is something we are concerned about but absolutely should not panic about. We have a lot of tools at our disposal and we will act and react according to when the data and the science come in and we will make our appropriate moves according to that,” the top US immunologist said referring to Biden’s address to his country.

Biden urged Americans to not panic about the variant and reiterated that full vaccination and boosters were the “best protection” against the disease. He especially insisted on the booster doses.

Also read | US company says its Covid test accurately detects omicron variant. Here’s how

“Most Americans are fully vaccinated but not yet boosted. If you are 18 years or over and got fully vaccinated before June the 1st, go get the booster shot today. A fully vaccinated boosted person is the most protected against Covid.”

Stressing this point, Fauci also said that boosters bolstered the protection offered by the vaccines against “any variant” of the disease. “The president encouraged people to get vaccinated and those who are vaccinated to get their booster shot because that will bring up the level of protection against any variant, the way we have seen, just the way it did with Delta,” he added.

Biden also assured that the US government would accelerate the development and deployment of updated vaccines or boosters for the omicron variant, in the event it is needed. He also urged the people to continue wearing masks when indoors or in public settings.

“I want to reiterate: Dr Fauci believes that the current vaccines provide at least some protection against the new variant and the boosters strengthen that protection significantly,” he said during his address.

Also, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC), the country’s public health agency, has now recommended a booster for all adults (people above 18 years of age). Earlier, it approved boosters for all adults but recommended it only for those above 50 years of age, but has now expanded its advisory in view of the new variant.

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