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Fauci: COVID-19 booster likely to give 'wide range' of protection against variants

By Megan Hadley
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Fauci: COVID-19 booster likely to give 'wide range' of protection against variants
Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president, said that booster shots will protect against COVID-19 variants. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Booster shots likely will offer cross protection against a "wide range" of COVID-19 variants, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said at a news conference Friday.

"There's every reason to believe that if you get vaccinated and boosted that you would have at least some degree of cross protection," Fauci said.

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"Very likely against severe disease, even against the Omicron variant."

According to Fauci, the booster shots increase antibody titers against the different variants, although, it hasn't been proven yet.

RELATED Poll: Most vaccinated U.S. adults plan to get COVID-19 booster shot

Fauci also noted the third shots increase "memory B cells and T cells," which operate as a line of defense against the virus.

Recently, threats of the Omicron variant have grown, and places such as New York, Hawaii and Colorado have discovered new cases.

Earlier this week, New York reported five cases of the variant, and Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency.

RELATED N.Y. enters new state of emergency hoping to head off Omicron COVID-19 variant

It is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible (e.g., more easily spread from person to person) compared to other variants, according to the World Health Organization.

"The number of people testing positive has risen in areas of South Africa affected by this variant, but epidemiologic studies are underway to understand if it is because of Omicron or other factors," they noted.

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Vaccinations have increased in recent days, hitting a 2.2 million doses administered in the 24-hour period that ended Thursday, the largest single-day total since May, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those included roughly 1.04 million booster shots, White House COVID-19 data director Cyrus Shahpar said in a Tweet.

The rise in vaccination continued Friday.

In April, the seven-day average of vaccinations peaked at about 3.4 million per day.

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