Washington urges more vaccinations, booster shots to stem 'raging' Omicron

The Omicron variant of coronavirus is raging through the world, and as we are entering the holiday season the importance of vaccination and booster shots has become more important than ever for those that intend to travel, said Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,  on Sunday.
omikron koronavírus tüskefehérje

Omicron has been found in 43 out of 50 US states and around 90 countries so far, including Hungary, Reuters reported.

The number of cases is doubling in 1.5 to 3 days in areas with community transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday.

It is just, you know, raging through the world,

Fauci said on NBC's Meet the Press.

In certain regions of the United States, 50% of the COVID-19 tests genetically sequenced detected the Omicron variant, Fauci told CNN, "which means it's going to take over". The number of hospitalised Covid patients jumped 26%.

Fauci urged Americans to continue wearing masks and get a vaccine booster dose. He added the new variant of concern has the extraordinary capability of spreading, adding that the United States is going to see breakthrough infections.

We are going to see breakthrough infection - there is no doubt about that,

the top immunologist said.

Fauci urged people to get vaccinated and get their booster dose, saying that those they “will be relatively well protected at least against severe disease.”

"We really need to flood the system with testing. We need to have tests available for anyone who wants them," he said.

Hospitals in some parts of the country are already becoming strained by COVID-19 patients and things are likely to get worse, the health officials said.

Dr Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told CBS' Face the Nation that the number of Omicron cases will rise steeply in the next two weeks.

"A big message for today is if you've had vaccines and a booster, you're very well protected against Omicron causing you severe disease. So, anybody listening to this who's in that 60% of Americans who are eligible for a booster but haven't yet gotten one:

This is the week to do it. Do not wait,

he said.

Neither Fauci nor Collins urged vaccinated Americans to cancel travel plans - just to wear a mask at all times in airports, on planes, trains and buses.

"I'm not going to say you shouldn't travel, but you should do so very carefully," Collins said.

Cover photo: Getty Images.

More in Economy

May 18, 2022 09:21

Paks II project needs to be radically accelerated, says Hungary's Foreign Minister

Péter Szijjártó at hearing before Parliament's Economic Affairs Committee

May 18, 2022 08:45

It turns out Hungary pays the most for Russian gas in the region

There can be two main explanations

May 18, 2022 08:30

Hungarian economy on the rocks - star economists tell us what the government and the c.bank can do

Péter Ákos Bod, Gergely Tardos, Viktor Zsiday answered questions from Portfolio's senior economist

naperőmű, napelempark Ajka mellett
May 17, 2022 16:50

MVM Group to build 28 new solar power plants across Hungary

Could cover annual electricity needs of more than 8,000 households

nato zászló getty stock
May 17, 2022 14:50

Sweden officially applies to join NATO

Riles Turkey