Fauci: New variant not a cause for panic in the United States

"Hopefully, we won't see a surge."
Posted at 11:43 AM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 20:34:58-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KERO) — A new variant has prompted a surge in Asian and European countries. However, Doctor Anthony Fauci spoke on a panel of experts explaining that it's not a cause for panic in the United States though.

“So, the bottom line is we likely will see an uptick in cases as we've seen in the European countries, particularly the UK, where they've had the same situation as we've had now. They have the BA.2. They have a relaxation of some of the restrictions such as indoor masking, and there's a waning of immunity. Hopefully, we won't see a surge. I don't think we will. The easiest way to prevent that is to continue to get people vaccinated, and for those who have been vaccinated to continue to get them boosted.”

Dr. Fauci added that the U.S. has the time and resources to take precautionary measures so the increase doesn't become a surge.

“I don't see us going back into any more really very restricted kinds of restrictions. But you always have to have the flexibility. If we do see a significant surge, particularly one that might result in increased hospitalizations, we have to be prepared to pivot and perhaps reinstitute some of those restrictions.”

Meantime, vaccine advisers to the Food and Drug Administration are set to meet on April 6th to discuss the possible need for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots down the road.

They'll look at the potential process for selecting variant-specific boosters and whether the vaccine could become an annual shot, similar to flu shots.

Representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health will take part in the vaccine committee meeting. No official vote is planned.

There will be no discussion of any specific products applying for authorization or approval.

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