Dr. Anthony Fauci says the omicron variant of the coronavirus can potentially evade the first rounds of vaccines but boosters increase efficacy and help safeguard against it.
Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser and the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that the variant can avoid protections provided by monoclonal antibodies and convalescent plasma.
Though there are currently fewer than 140 omicron cases in the U.S., Fauci said he envisions a time when omicron will rival the delta variant as the nation’s dominant strain.
“If you want to be optimally protected, absolutely get a booster,” he said.
Fauci said the initial findings on omicron, first discovered in South Africa, are that it causes milder symptoms than its delta counterpart.
So far, only one known death from the omicron variant has been reported worldwide.
As of Monday, only about 61% of the U.S. population, or roughly 202 million residents, has been fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.