Although the omicron variant of the coronavirus is less likely to lead to hospitalization than the delta variant, the ability of booster shots to prevent an omicron infection starts to wane after 10 weeks, a new analysis out of the United Kingdom found.
People infected with the omicron variant were up to 70 percent less likely to be admitted to a hospital than with previous strains, according to the study, which was released Thursday by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). But the protection boosters provide against infection also fades more quickly against omicron than delta, by about 15 to 25 percent.
Officials stressed that the results are preliminary and more research is needed.
Here’s what to know
- FDA regulators have now authorized two antiviral medications to treat covid-19, one from Pfizer on Wednesday and a second from Merck on Thursday. Both the Paxlovid pill from Pfizer and Merck’s Molnupiravir are billed as yet more tools in the fight against the coronavirus.
- Vice President Harris has tested negative after being in close contact with a White House official who contracted the coronavirus.
- Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) said Thursday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. In a statement, the senator described his symptoms as “minimal” so far and said he was “optimistic I will recover well after isolating and following CDC guidelines.”
- President Biden, in an interview Wednesday with ABC “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir, said that “nothing’s been good enough” when it comes to national availability of at-home coronavirus testing, but he added that he doesn’t think it is a failure that his administration didn’t act sooner on at-home tests.
- The fast-spreading omicron variant has now been detected in every U.S. state, as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
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