Live updates: Omicron Covid-19 variant puts world on edge

by 24USATVDec. 3, 2021, 1 p.m. 24
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The United States can’t lose sight of the fact that Delta is still the dominant variant in the country -- but for all variants, it’s better to be vaccinated than unvaccinated, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday.

“Let’s just back up for one second and comment on the fact that today we have 90,000 new cases of Covid-19 every day, and that about 99.9% of them continue to be Delta,” Walensky said when asked if it could be concluded yet that Omicron may be less severe than Delta.

We can’t lose sight of the fact that the vast majority of what we have here in the United States is Delta. And we know how to tackle Delta, with vaccines, with boosters, with masking and all of our prevention measures that we have been using all along.”

Walensky said that the country has better tools now and is in a much better place to tackle new variants.

As you note, we’ve seen Omicron in about five states now, and we’re continuing to do investigations with other states as probable cases emerge,” she said. “But what we can say, based on what these cases are showing, some have mild disease, some may have more severe disease, many of them are vaccinated, and what we’re seeing now is that many of the people with mild disease were the vaccinated people.

“So, we still have a lot of science to do to understand how these vaccines are working against Omicron, except to say that we know for every variant that we’ve had, it’s better to be vaccinated than unvaccinated.”

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