This photo taken on December 01, 2021 shows Chief Medical Advisor to the president Dr. Anthony Fauci speaking during the daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (File photo by AFP)
The top US infectious disease official has said that manufacturing a COVID-19 vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron variant of the coronavirus would be a "prudent" move, even if it ultimately may not be needed.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, US President Joe Bidenís top medical adviser and a member of the White House COVID-19 Response Team, told MSNBC on Tuesday that having ready an Omicron specific booster shot makes sense.
"We may not need it... but I think itís prudent to at least prepare for the possibility that this may be a persistent variant that we may have to face - even if itís at a very low level," he said.
Fauci pointed out that eventually, enough community immunity will hopefully build-up to prevent massive surges like the ones experienced before.
Despite the high rate of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic and all-time records of hospitalizations across the country, Fauci dismissed the likeliness of further surges such as the four to five waves that were driven by the variants so far. "I donít think weíre going to be seeing that indefinitely."
Speaking on ABCís "This Week" on Sunday, Fauci said that the Omicron wave was peaking nationally in the United States and that the coronavirus cases could fall to manageable levels in the coming months. "What we would hope is that, as we get into the next weeks to a month or so, weíll see throughout the entire country the level of the infection get to below what I call that area of control."
Fauci insisted that this did not mean eradicating the virus. Infections will continue. "Theyíre there but they donít disrupt society," he said. "Thatís the best-case scenario."