Scientists are concerned that a new Omicron variant known as BA.2 is rapidly spreading around the globe, making it more contagious and possibly harder to detect.
However, Dr. David Agus, a CBS News medical contributor, said that the COVID-19 strain was actually similar to Delta in terms of detection. He advised people to get vaccinated and noted that booster shots provide strong protection against this new subvariant.
Danish Omicron was handled in Denmark by BA.2, one of many countries that is “weeks ahead of the U.S.” Agus stated Monday on CBS Mornings that BA.2 was 50% more infectious than Omicron.
“But the booster gives you significant protection against BA.2. He said that this is what people care about.
This version of the coronavirus has been called stealthier than Omicron’s original Omicron, based on its genetic characteristics. Agus disagreed.
He said, “It’s not stealth.” It means that Omicron has BA.1 as well as BA.2. BA.1 was the dominant one in the United States. If you look at the PCR [test], you will see that [BA.1] looks different than Delta.
“BA.2 looks exactly like Delta so it’s easy to spot. He said that it looks exactly like Delta on PCR.
At least 40 countries have been able to detect the new Omicron variant. Agus stated that BA.2 would likely slow down an expected decline in infections but believes there is an end in sight.
He said, “When you are exposed to BA.1 — or the first Omicron, as it were — you will have immunity. Hopefully, that will cross over into BA.2.” “And because so many people have been exposed to it, I believe we will see a decrease.”
Agus had previously stated that the country would experience a decline in cases by February mid-February. He said that it might take longer with BA.2.
Agus stated, “But we will be in a better position come spring.” “So, I believe that we will have significantly fewer cases at the end of February or March.”
He expressed his hope that the Food and Drug Administration would soon approve a coronavirus vaccination for children younger than 5 years.
He said, “They should have vaccine in March. As long as FDA accepts two-shot data, and isn’t pushing for the three shot,”
Agus stated that it is crucial to safeguard this part of the population until then.
Agus stated, “When you go out you want to ensure that the young child can wear masks if they are able.” It is also important to consider who they are interacting with. They must wear a mask when they are with people.
He said, “So, as much possible, protect them.” “There is hope. We will soon have the vaccine for this age group and protection will hopefully be available.