Omicron now largely dominant in the United States


The dazzlingly spreading Omicron variant now accounts for nearly three-quarters of new COVID-19 cases in the United States, data released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, the proportion of new cases attributable to this new variant reached 73.2% for the week ending December 18, compared to only 26.6% of associated cases. to the Delta variant.

The week before, it made up just 12.6% of new cases, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC.

Its prevalence is still particularly high in parts of the country, such as the southeast, which includes Alabama, Florida and Mississippi, and the northwest, which includes Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The variant represents 95.2% and 96.3% of new cases, respectively.

A sign of its phenomenal transmissibility, it only took 19 days after the first case of Omicron detected on American soil for the variant to become the dominant strain in the country.

By way of comparison, the Delta variant, which had become dominant in early July, had been identified for the first time in the United States towards the end of winter. It was considered twice as contagious as the previous variants.

And the Omicron variant, on the rise all over the world, is far from having completed its trajectory.

Americans should expect difficult weeks, if not months, warned White House chief immunologist Anthony Fauci on CNN on Sunday, worrying about the proportion of unvaccinated people.

According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, only 65.4% of Americans over the age of 5 have a full vaccination (one or two doses, depending on the vaccine), and 32.4% have received an additional injection.

In the morning, the director of the United States Public Health Service, Dr Vivek Murthy, echoed his colleague's message, warning that the surge in cases would affect mostly unvaccinated people.

There will be a marked difference between the experience of those who received the vaccine and have a booster shot and those who did not, he warned, reiterating the plea from public health experts. in favor of vaccination. 

The country had a daily average of about 133,000 new cases over 7 days on December 19, compared to 86,500 at the start of the month, according to a compilation by the New York Times.

There are 451 in 100,000 COVID-19 cases in unvaccinated people, compared to 134 in vaccinated people and only 48 in people who received an additional dose, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC reported by CNN.

The number of deaths for these same categories of people is respectively 6.1 in 100,000, 0.5 in 100,000 and 0.1 in 100,000.

Vaccination in the United States is often a political divide, with Republicans much more resistant to it.

Biden's renewed advocacy for vaccination

It is in this context that President Joe Biden is due to deliver a speech to the nation on COVID-19 on Tuesday.

He will announce new steps his administration is taking to help communities in need of assistance, while issuing a stern warning of what winter will be like for Americans who choose not to be vaccinated, the door said. - White House speech, Jen Psaki, on Twitter.

A few days ago, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients did not cut corners in describing the risks unvaccinated people will face.

“For those who are not vaccinated, it is a winter of serious illness and death that awaits you and your families, and the hospitals that you will soon overwhelm. "

- A quote from Jeff Zients, COVID-19 Coordinator for the White House

Despite the epidemic outbreak, Ms. Psaki, clarified Monday that a new containment would be excluded.

A little over two weeks ago, with the approach of the cold season and a likely winter peak, President Biden unveiled a new plan to fight the pandemic, which included free self-testing of the coronavirus, the tightening of testing times for international travelers and the launch of a national campaign to urge American adults to get a booster dose.

Its vaccine obligations to health care workers whose employers receive federal funding as well as to large companies are at the center of legal disputes.

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