Powered by
Sponsored by

No way to eradicate COVID, Omicron will find just about everybody: Fauci

Hospitalisations of US children under 5 with COVID-19 soared in recent weeks

fauci reuters Dr. Anthony Fauci | Reuters

In a public address, Anthony Fauci, top infectious diseases expert in the United States, said that the country was approaching the "threshold" of transitioning to living with the coronavirus as a manageable disease, AFP reported. "Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will ultimately find just about everybody. There is no way we are going to eradicate this virus," he said, adding that vaccines remain well protected against severe outcomes. The country will hopefully enter a new phase where there will be enough protection in the community, enough drugs available so that when someone does get infected and is in a high risk group, it will be very easy to treat that person, he said.

Hospitalisations of US children under 5 with COVID-19 soared in recent weeks to the highest levels since the pandemic began, according to the US government data released Friday. Since early December, as the highly contagious Omicron variant has spread furiously around the country, the hospitalisation rate in these youngest children has surged to more than 4 in 100,000 youngsters. That compares with about 1 per 100,000 for kids ages 5 to 17, according to CDC data.

Fauci, at a White House press briefing, had said that many children hospitalised with COVID-19 have other health conditions that make them more susceptible to complications from the virus. That includes obesity, diabetes and lung disease. Fauci emphasised that one of the best ways to protect the youngest children is to vaccinate everyone else. Data suggested that booster shots offer the best protection against omicron, and CDC this week recommended them for kids as young as 12. Among older ages already eligible, just 34 per cent have received them.

📣 The Week is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TheWeekmagazine) and stay updated with the latest headlines