Dr Anthony Fauci, The White House chief medical advisor, recently told the The Hill Rising that Covid-19 vaccines specific to BA.5 subvariant is the “best guess” for dealing with the expected surge of the virus during the coming fall season.
Dr Fauci reportedly reflected on The Hill TV:
- “It is difficult to predict how SARS-CoV-2 will mutate and noted that the U.S. is currently in a “BA.5 mode,” with roughly 80 percent of cases caused by the subvariant.
- “The FDA will likely authorize these updated boosters heading into the fall, adding that they would be bivalent vaccines, meaning that they would target both BA.5 along with the ancestral strain of COVID-19.
- “That’s a pretty good estimation of what we will be seeing in the fall. There’s always the possibility that you’re going to have the evolution of another variant and hopefully if that occurs it will vary off from the BA.5 only slightly in the sense of being a sub-sub-lineage of it and not something entirely different.
- At this point in the pandemic, he said the data was clear that “high quality” and “well fitted” masks were effective at preventing the transmission and acquisition of viruses. He specifically pointed to N96 an KN95 masks as examples of effective protection.
- He still keeps an open mind to criticisms and comments after more than 40 years in government work, saying, “I always take criticism seriously, analyze it and see if there’s anything I can learn and do better from the criticism. Sometimes it’s outlandish but sometimes there’s a kernel of truth in that.”
- Fauci also pushed back again on speculation that the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) might have funded gain-of-function research that could be liked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- “Any card-carrying virologist who knows about viral evolution will tell you that it would be molecularly impossible for those viruses that were worked on to be turned into SARS-CoV-2 by accident or by intent,” said Fauci. “They are evolutionarily so far from SARS-CoV-2 that that would be impossible. Yet when you talk about research that was funded by the NIH people make an inappropriate conflation of those experiments with SARS-CoV-2.”