Image credits: Al Drago/Bloomberg News
The omicron coronavirus variant will infect “just about everybody” regardless of vaccination status, top U.S. infectious-disease expert Anthony S. Fauci said Tuesday.
Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says those who are still unvaccinated will “get the brunt” of the omicron surge.
But those who have been vaccinated will “very likely, with some exceptions, do reasonably well,” and avoid hospitalization and death, said Fauci, speaking at a virtual “fireside chat” with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Fauci also said in a Senate hearing the same day that the unvaccinated are 20 times likelier to die, 17 times likelier to be hospitalized and 10 times likelier to be infected than the vaccinated.
“Those who are still unvaccinated are going to get the brunt of the severe aspect of this,” he said, referring to the omicron surge. “And although it is less severe on a case-by-case basis, when you quantitatively have so many people who are infected, a fraction of them … are going to die,” he said.
A World Health Organization official on Tuesday predicted that the omicron variant will have infected more than half of the population in the European region in the next six to eight weeks, if current trends hold. Here’s how fast the omicron variant is spreading around the world.