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Over the next few weeks, The United States should expect an increase in cases of the BA.2 variant of COVID, said Dr. Anthony Fauci to ABC Newsbut it may not cause such a severe increase in hospitalizations or deaths.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next few weeks we see something like a plateau in the decline or maybe even an increase,” Fauci told ABC News’ Brad Mielke on the “Start Here” podcast.
The White House chief medical adviser’s prediction is based on his conversations with colleagues in the UK, which is currently experiencing a surge in cases. The trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US has often followed that of the UK by about three weeks.
At the beginning of March, the United States considered the wave of the Omicron variant to be over, the one that caused the highest number of infections since the start of the pandemic, and relaxed the use of masks indoors.
Fauci said that “it is not clear” if this will lead to a new wave or a “mini wave”, but stressed that occupancy of intensive care beds in the UK is not increasing“which means that there is no serious outbreak of the disease.”
Fauci predicted that the BA.2 subvariant of omicron will overtake BA.1 as the dominant one in the United States, saying “there is no doubt that sooner or later” second booster doses of the vaccine will be required.
US drugmaker Pfizer asked the US regulator on Tuesday to authorize the administration of a second booster dose for those over 65, and on Thursday Moderna requested it for those over 18.
Both companies referred to data collected in Israel, which has been a pioneer in the distribution of the second booster dose.
COVID cases have dropped sharply across the country over the past two months, with new cases averaging just over 30,000.
The United States is the country most affected in the world by the COVID-19 pandemic and has accumulated almost 80 million infections and more than 970,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic. according to datas from John Hopkins University.
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