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Friday, December 2, 2022

One Year After the Omicron Peak, Officials Anticipate a Lower Level of Covid Danger During the Winter

Tuesday, federal health authorities voiced hope that the country is better equipped to withstand an increase in Covid-19 infections this winter than it was a year ago, and they urged Americans to get an updated booster injection before the holidays.

The coronavirus seems to pose less of a danger to the majority of Americans than it did a year ago, when Omicron started spreading illness at an alarming pace. At the time, Mr. Biden prohibited travel from eight African countries and urged Americans not to panic. Later, he ordered military medical personnel to hospitals where authorities worried patients might overwhelm the facilities.

Now, Dr. Ashish K. Jha, the White House’s Covid-19 response coordinator, is optimistic about the next Christmas season so long as Americans continue to get vaccinations and booster shots.

That may be a crucial qualification. After two years of repeated vaccination efforts, Americans have been hesitant to accept the administration’s September rollout of new booster injections. To far, only 35 million individuals have gotten one of Moderna and Pfizer-improved BioNTech’s vaccines. The government purchased enough medications for approximately five times as many individuals.

Even though government health experts claim that almost all Covid deaths are now avoidable with immunisation and treatment, around 300 Americans per day continue to die of Covid-19. Other respiratory infections, such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, or R.S.V., are also on the rise after two years of low infection rates.

And the future course of the coronavirus remains unknown. With considerable anxiety, federal authorities have been observing a new subtype of Omicron dubbed XBB. The new subvariant accounts for a negligible proportion of cases in the United States thus far, but it is showing up in passenger testing at the country’s main international airports and has spread to India and Singapore.

The research indicated that those diagnosed with Covid who were taken Paxlovid had a hospitalisation rate 51 percent lower than those who were not offered the drug within 30 days of their diagnosis. During a five-month period ending in August, researchers compared roughly 200,000 persons who got Paxlovid within five days of their diagnosis to more than 500,000 individuals who did not.

Only 28% of individuals eligible for Paxlovid were administered treatment, according to the research. According to the researchers, the medicine should be made available to everyone who qualifies, particularly older folks and those with several underlying health issues. The research did not examine the frequency with which Covid symptoms returned after patients completed the five-day therapy, prompting some doctors to ask whether the course of treatment is lengthy enough.

North Carolina’s top health officer, Kody Kinsley, anticipated that the new research will convince some physicians and patients to use the medicine. Approximately two-thirds of individuals in his state were at high risk for severe coronavirus illness, but for inexplicable reasons, physicians were unwilling to give Paxlovid to them.

Chris Matthews
I am a Political News Journalist of The National Era
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