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[WATCH] White House Urges Caution As Omicron BA.5 Case Numbers Keep Rising

[WATCH] White House Urges Caution As Omicron BA.5 Case Numbers Keep Rising

Covid is not only not over, it’s still mutating and spreading regardless of your summer plans. Or maybe it’s because of your summer plans.

The White House is urging renewed safety measures as the latest variants, labeled BA.4 and BA.5–mutations of the Omicron strain that has been responsible for nearly all of the virus spread in the U.S.–are even more contagious than their predecessors. White House doctors stressed the importance of getting booster doses, even if you have recently been infected.

The Biden administration is calling on people to exercise renewed caution about COVID-19, emphasizing the importance of vaccines and booster shots for those who are eligible and wearing masks indoors as the two new highly transmissible variants are spreading rapidly across the country.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said while the new variants are concerning, with boosters, indoor masking, and treatments the country has the tools to keep them from being disruptive. “We should not let it disrupt our lives,” he said, “but we cannot deny that it is a reality that we need to deal with.” Dr. Fauci added that even if someone recently had COVID-19, they should get a booster. “Immunity wanes, so it is critical to stay up to date with COVID 19 vaccines,” he said.

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Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says too many Americans are under-vaccinated, meaning they are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines. “Staying up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines provides the best protection against severe outcomes,” Dr. Walensky said, noting the U.S. has seen a doubling in the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 since April, reflecting the spread of the new subvariants, though deaths have remained steady around 300 per day.

 

All Americans age 5 and over should get a booster five months after their initial primary series, according to the CDC, and those aged 50 and over — or who are immunocompromised — should get second booster four months after their first. According to CDC, tens of millions of eligible Americans haven’t received their first booster, and of those over 50 who got their first booster, only 28% have received their second.

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