While the Delta variant of the Coronavirus has caused a lot of havoc in the past few months in America, the emergence of the new and claimed to even more contagious Omicron variant is a cause for major concern among Americans.
The Omicron Variant Posed Major Questions To Americans For 2 Weeks
The Omicron variant, which emerged in South Africa has been deemed, “a variant of concern” by the World Health Organization (WHO) as it is more contagious and easily transmissible than other forms of the virus and whether all vaccines work against it is yet to be determined.
The Omicron variants have been detected in multiple countries in the past few weeks, including Canada. The US although has seen no cases as of now, but health experts feel it is inevitable.
Experts have asked the American citizens to be careful and be prepared for the variant’s arrival, but the citizens of America are weary of nearly 2 years of precautions and restrictions.
Just as things seemed to be getting better during Thanksgiving, the news regarding the Omicron variant came crashing into their lives, ruining the festive season.
Experts are now wondering about the severity of the Omicron variant, how transmissible it is, and whether it is resistant to vaccines or not?
But it might take weeks and lots of research to answer this question, and meanwhile, all people can do is get vaccinated, take booster shots and adhere to stricter public health safety measures. Currently, 59.1% of the US population is fully vaccinated and 19% of those who are fully vaccinated have received a booster shot.
President Joe Biden on Monday said that the Omicron variant is a cause for concern, not for panic, and also showed his trust in the medical professionals of the country stating that America has the best scientists, best medicines and that America has the potential to fight the variant scientific and knowledgeable actions rather than causing chaos and confusion.
In the meantime, US travel restrictions on flights from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Malawi, etc went into effect overnight to minimize the spread of the virus and take necessary preventive measures.
CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky highly recommends that everyone above the age of 18 gets vaccinated at the earliest and also receives the booster shot as apart from the Omicron virus, the Delta variant which had been a major cause of concern still continues to be so.
As per Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the President, the bigger issue for Americans currently is the Delta variant which is overwhelmingly dominant rather than the Omicron variant which hasn’t even arrived in the country yet.
Dr. Fauci informed President Biden that it would take approximately two more weeks to have more definitive information on the transmissibility, severity, and other characteristics of the variant and he believes vaccination still holds the key to fighting the different variants of the virus.
Fauci told CNN that the health officials and experts have every reason to believe that based on the experience of other variants, the current vaccines will provide antibodies to fight the Omicron variant although the variant is extraordinary because of its multiple mutations.
Meanwhile, BioNTech is also looking into the Omicron variant to understand it better. The data from BioNTech is expected to return in a few weeks’ time and it will be quite important to understand what the impacts of the vaccine on the variant are.
Johnson and Johnson are also testing the effectiveness of their vaccines on this variant. Quite a lot of efforts are being made to understand Omicron even before it hits the shores of the USA so as to prevent another outbreak like the Delta variant, meanwhile the citizens of America are being advised not to panic, follow safety measures, and do their part is restricting the spread of the Coronavirus.
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