A vaccine expert has said the US could be affected by a “twin simultaneous outbreak” of the Delta and Omicron variant, as the new strain spreads around the world.
A vaccine expert and scientist has warned of the possibility of a “twin spread” of Delta and Omicron strains in the United States.
The co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, Dr. Peter J. Hotez said it was a “plausible scenario” given the country’s sluggish 59.6 percent thorough vaccination rate.
“Here’s what we could see unfolding in 2022,” he writes in an article daily animal,
“Both types circulate in the US, with the delta variant affecting completely disproportionately, while the Omicron causes reinfection in people who have not been vaccinated but have been previously infected, or who receive their boosters. have not received.
“And of course, it wouldn’t be cut and dried or black and white — there would be overlap.”
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The US is believed to have been particularly devastated by delta tensions during this year, after being discovered in India in late 2020. However, Dr Hotez believes that “the Delta will continue to spread across the Americas,” unlike other displaced variants, like the Alpha.
It now accounts for more than 99 percent of Covid cases, has a higher hospitalization rate and is believed to be twice as contagious as other strains, according to Yale Medicine.
To date, the US has recorded 777,000 Covid-related deaths, although the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Valensky, previously warned that her health system was already “under severe strain”.
“That means we are talking about who is going to get ventilators, who is going to get ICU beds,” she said in September.
It comes as the US has reported three cases of the new COVID-19 strain – one in a California woman returning from South Africa and two new cases in Colorado and Minnesota.
While the California and Minnesota case had recently traveled to South Africa, the Colorado male did not travel internationally. Instead, health officials believe he may have contracted the virus while attending an anime convention in New York City from November 19-21. This has also prompted fears that the new version may also be in the community.
“It is likely this is not an isolated case, meaning community spread of the Omicron variant is ongoing in NYC,” New York Health Commissioner Dr Dave Chokshi tweeted.
need more information
Despite Dr Hotez’s dire condition, the vaccine developer emphasized that there is “relatively little” information about the new version as it is currently.
Although it is listed as a ‘type of concern’ by the World Health Organization (WHO), the health body has not yet confirmed whether it is actually more contagious or serious than other forms.
However, preliminary evidence suggests it may be more permeable. This is based on reports that the Omicron variant cases in South Africa rose from 200 to 2000 cases in just 10 days.
“There has been an increase in the number of people testing positive in the regions of South Africa thus affected, but epidemiological studies are underway to understand whether this is due to omicrons or other factors.” health organization writes,
Preliminary evidence also suggests that Omicron may have an “increased risk of reinfection” and that people who have previously had COVID-19 may be more easily re-infected, however, they stress. that the information is limited.
First case of Omicron registered in US
In light of the new cases, experts and US health officials are stressing the importance of vaccine booster shots.
“One bottom line is that whether you’re concerned about Delta, Omicron, or both, your strategy for protecting yourself or a loved one’s health is the same,” Dr. Hotez wrote. “Get your third mRNA vaccination if you are eligible and have not already done so.”
Dr Hotez also cited advice from Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz who suggested that preliminary indications prove that even triple-vaccinated individuals are protected from the new strain despite the large number of mutations.
“We will have more accurate information about the effectiveness of the vaccine against Omicron in the coming days, but there is already room for optimism,” Mr. Horivitz said during a hospital visit.
“There are early indications that people who have been vaccinated are still valid or will be protected as such even with boosters.”
Australians looking to get a third booster shot will still have to wait six months after a second dose of the vaccine, despite fears that the new version could shorten the window. It comes as NSW reported eight of its own cases of the Omicron strain in a passenger who flew into the country from Singapore and first visited southern Africa.
Speaking to the media on Friday morning, Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization will stick to its initial decision after reviewing the current evidence.
“There is no evidence that earlier booster doses of existing COVID-19 vaccines will enhance protection against Omicron (version),” he said.