What’s more, the study “finds no evidence of Omicron having lower severity than Delta, judged by either the proportion of people testing positive who report symptoms, or by the proportion of cases seeking hospital care after infection. However, hospitalization data remains very limited at this time,” researchers said.
“We have no evidence that the virus itself is more mild,” Eric Topol, MD, executive vice president of Scripps Research and editor-in-chief of Medscape, WebMD’s sister site for health care professionals, told PBS NewsHour. “Until we have that, we have to assume that people who don’t have any protection are highly vulnerable to getting very ill.”
The White House COVID-19 team continues to urge parents and guardians to get their children vaccinated, especially in anticipation of a post-holiday spike. Walensky said the CDC’s vaccine advisory board met Thursday to continue the safety discussion about COVID-19 vaccinations in children.
So far, 20 million children under 17 and 5 million under 11 have received their shots.
“Looking specifically at vaccine safety data from over 50,000 children 5-11 years old, we found no evidence of serious safety concerns,” Walensky said.
Top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, MD, highlighted the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted to avoid serious disease from Delta and Omicron.
“We’re in a situation where we are now facing a very important Delta surge and we are looking over our shoulder at an oncoming Omicron surge,” he said. “The optimum protection is fully vaccinated plus a boost.”