Scientists Are Racing to Gauge the Threat of Omicron

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The excellent news, specialists stated, is that America has assets at its disposal, if it chooses to use them. Tests nonetheless work for Omicron. Vaccines are actually broadly out there and will blunt the burden of extreme illness. Antiviral tablets, that are anticipated to be efficient in opposition to Omicron, may quickly be out there, though provides can be very restricted at first.

“There are more tools in our toolbox now than there were during the holiday season last year,” Dr. Majumder stated.

People who will not be but vaccinated ought to get vaccinated, specialists stated, and people who are eligible for boosters ought to get them. And masking, testing and taking precautions when gathering with others indoors — the similar behaviors that specialists have lengthy been recommending — may assist sluggish the unfold.

But past these particular person behaviors, officers nonetheless want to do extra, specialists stated.

The Biden administration, as an illustration, has targeted closely on selling vaccination and boosters, which stay vital public well being instruments. But in the face of a foe like Omicron, they aren’t sufficient, specialists warned.

“The way we’re seeing it unfold in other places, the way we’re starting to see it take hold here, implies that a vaccination-only strategy is going to be very fragile,” Dr. Salomon stated.

Experts known as on officers to enhance entry to testing, distribute high-quality masks, promote improved air flow and difficulty clearer tips about what actions it’s protected to interact in and in what circumstances.

Local governments, colleges and employers additionally want to start planning — and making these plans public — about what they may do in the occasion of massive outbreaks or if circumstances or hospitalizations rise to a sure degree, they famous.

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