Dec 06, 2021
By Jane Brown
America’s top public health expert says early reports on the COVID-19 Omicron variant are encouraging.
Doctor Anthony Fauci told CNN on Sunday that while the Omicron variant is rapidly spreading throughout the U.S., early indications suggest it may be less dangerous than Delta, which continues to drive a surge in hospitalizations.
But Dr. Fauci also cautioned that scientists need more information before drawing conclusions about the severity of the Omicron variant.
Reports from South Africa, where it emerged and is becoming the dominant strain, suggest hospitalization rates have not increased alarmingly.
At the same time, he emphasized the importance of getting a third shot of COVID vaccine, which has been approved for anyone 18 and over in the U.S.
“If you get boosted, you’re going to your level up, and we feel certain that there will be some degree, maybe a considerable degree, of protection against the Omicron variant, if in fact, it starts to take hold in a dominant way in this country,” Fauci further explained.
Here in Ontario, third shot boosters are currently offered to anyone 70 or over, those who received 2 shots of AstraZeneca, or the single dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine, healthcare workers, those who live in congregate settings, people who are immunocompromised, along with indigenous adults.
But starting a week from Monday, on December 13th, eligibility widens to include everyone 50 and older, as long as it’s been 168 days since receiving a second dose.