The new coronavirus variant, omicron, has spread to 50 countries and 19 US states, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday.
"While we are still working to understand the severity of omicron as well as how it responds to therapeutics and vaccines, we anticipate that all of the same measures will at least, in part, provide some protection against omicron,” Walensky said during a White House news conference.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said health experts will have some data about omicron by the middle of next week.
"We’ll be able to determine whether or not antibodies induced by all vaccines lose their capability of effectiveness with omicron," said Fauci. "In addition, we are doing animal studies to evaluate immune protection as well as the efficacy of antivirals."