Fauci says whether Omicron-specific booster needed
White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that a booster shot specifically targeting the Omicron variant of Covid-19 may not be needed. However, he said that drug companies will still develop these shots.
“I’m not so sure that we’re going to have to get a variant-specific boost vaccine to get an adequate protection from Omicron,” Fauci told the health news website STAT on Friday. “Because if you look at protection against variants, it appears to relate to the level of immunity and the breadth of the immunity that any given vaccine can instill on you.”
While some experts have expressed concerns that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is better able to evade the current crop of vaccines, Fauci has continued to place his faith in these shots. So too has Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, though he has claimed that a fourth dose may be needed to combat the new strain.
“With Omicron we need to wait and see because we have very little information. We may need [the fourth dose] faster,” he told CNBC this week.
While Fauci said that an Omicron-specific booster likely won’t be needed, he did add that drug companies like Pfizer “are going to be making variant-specific boosters.”
Thankfully, the symptoms of the Omicron variant have been described by doctors and officials as mild, and as of Friday, the World Health Organization has not recorded any deaths as a result of the strain.