On Tuesday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the U.S. population had enough immunity to provide some protection against the more contagious Omicron BA.2 subverter, which could help prevent another cowardly wave that denounced hospitals.
“High levels of population immunity from vaccines, booster and previous infections will provide some protection against BA.2,” Walensky said during a cowardly briefing at the White House. White House Chief Medical Adviser. Anthony Fawcett said last month that infections could increase due to BA.2, but he did not expect any further increase.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, BA.2 now represents 72% of the covid variants introduced in the United States. This quickly displaces the previous version of Omicron, BA.1, which caused a massive wave of winter infections. As of early February, BA.2 represented about 1% of the Kovid variant in the United States.
BA.2 is now the dominant covid variant in every region of the country, most prevalent in the densely populated northeast, the epicenter of epidemic recurrence in the U.S. , According to the CDC.
Approximately 95% of the U.S. population 16 years of age or older developed antibodies against the virus through vaccination or infection as of December, according to a CDC survey of blood donor samples. However, having antibodies against the virus does not necessarily stop the infection. Omicron, with its many mutations, has an advanced ability to infect both vaccinated and previously infected individuals.
However, according to a study published by Qatari scientists affiliated with Weil Colonel Medicine in Doha, people who have been vaccinated, boosted and those who have recovered from previous infections have a higher level of protection against hospitalization from BA.2. The survey did not go through peer review.
Scientists found that those who received three Pfizer shots had a maximum protection of 98% against hospitalization from BA.2. Those who received two Pfizer doses and those who recovered from previous infections had equal levels of protection against hospitalization at 76% and 73%, respectively. Those who had two Pfizer doses and recovered from a breakthrough infection had 97% protection.
The data suggest that even if BA.2 increases the risk of infection in the United States, the population may have sufficient immunity to prevent an outbreak of a serious disease that plagues hospitals.
According to the public health authorities in the United Kingdom and Denmark, BA.2 is 30% to 80% more contagious anywhere than previous versions of the omicron. Scientists in the United Kingdom, South Africa and elsewhere found that BA.2 generally did not cause more illness than BA.1, which was less severe than the delta variant.
BA.2 has provoked outbreaks in Europe, including the United Kingdom and Germany. China has been battling its worst wave since 2020, locking up big cities like Shanghai.
However, covid infection in the United States remains stable at the moment, although BA.2 produces a growing proportion of variants of the virus spread across the country. The United States reported an average of about 25,000 new infections on Monday, down 4% from the previous week, according to the CDC. However, new infections are probably less reported because many people test at home which is not captured by the data.
The number of people admitted to the hospital with covid has dropped to its lowest level since 2020. According to the data, more than 10,700 patients were hospitalized with the virus on Tuesday, an average of seven days, a 92% drop from the peak of the Omicron wave in January. From the Department of Health and Human Services.
The CDC has adjusted its Covid guidelines to focus more on hospital admissions as a measure of how badly the virus is affecting the country. More than 97% of the U.S. population lives in counties with low to medium covid levels, which means people there don’t need to wear masks under CDC guidelines.