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Dr. Anthony Fauci on variant-specific COVID-19 vaccines

"We need to pay attention to them and not just blow them off," Dr. Fauci said of the variants.
Senate Virus Outbreak
Posted at 2:10 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 14:30:32-04

The World Health Organization said the number of weekly COVID-19 cases has gone up for a fourth week. Between June 27 and July 3, more than 4.6 million new cases were reported worldwide. That's nearly a 30% increase, which doesn't include at-home tests.

The WHO said there was an increase in four of the six regions it oversees. The American and African regions were the only regions to report a decrease.

In the U.S., the new Omicron subvariant BA.5 makes up the majority of new infections, and places like New York City and Los Angeles are seeing a slight rise in cases again.

While the number is still low compared to previous surges, the U.S. is averaging around 100,000 new cases daily.

"We need to pay attention to [the variants] and not just blow them off," President Biden's Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci told Newsy. "We could have an uptick in cases as one variant replaces another … We will likely continue to see cases smolder and perhaps even increase."

Fauci said people who are getting infected with COVID are using at-home tests but not reporting the positive cases.

In the U.S., people of almost all ages are now eligible for the vaccine. But as of June, under 30% of 5-11-year-olds were fully vaccinated.

Fauci said, "There is good cross-protection against serious diseases with the vaccines." He encouraged parents to get their children vaccinated.

"We had an initial push on vaccines from parents who were waiting anxiously to have available vaccine … but we've got to do better in the numbers because we still have a relatively small fraction of those children who are eligible and we need to get them vaccinated," he said.

Additionally, Fauci said, "There will very likely be a bivalent vaccine," which he said is a booster that contains the vaccine used for the original virus strain and a vaccine with updated variant protection The update could be available "sometime in October, hopefully, ready for what might be a fall surge in cases." 

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