Update (0845ET): CDC chief Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during an interview on Wednesday that the agency is making progress on providing boosters for children. The FDA is currently looking at boosters for children between 12 and 15, and the CDC will "act swiftly" once the FDA approval is granted.
Boosters for minors in the 12-15 age group likely won't be approved within the next month. But the scientists are "getting there."
As for all this talk about requiring vaccines for domestic travel? It's not going to happen, she said.
Confused? Well, let's clear things up:
Fauci: travel vax mandate is on the table...
Fauci next day: no travel vax mandate
Biden day after that: travel vax mandate will happen when docs say
Yesterday late CDC Walensky: no travel vax mandate being discussed
Walensky also claimed the US is seeing a growing number of kids in hospitals.
She also provided some clarity on the latest CDC guidelines. Those who are exiting quarantine no longer need a PCR test showing they are negative because some people can stay negative for as long as 13 weeks after infection. "So we would have people in isolation for a very long time if we were relying on PCRs," she said.
Walensky also addressed Tuesday's news from the FDA that, according to early data, rapid antigen tests may be less sensitive when it comes to the omicron variant. "We do know that the most sensitive test you can do is a PCR test...So if you have symptoms and you have a negative antigen test, we do ask you to go and get a PCR to make sure those symptoms are not attributable to COVID."
However, she added, the rapid tests work "quite well" especially in environments where people are tested frequently, like schools. "They may not work as well as they have for the delta variant...we still are encouraging their use," Walensky said.
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Since seemingly everybody in the US either knows somebody who is sick, or is sick themselves, millions of Americans are about to start loudly questioning why they bothered to get three shots if it wasn't enough to stop them from eventually getting sick.
Many assumed this latest wave was all omicron, but as we reported last night, the CDC has lowered its estimate for omicron's prevalence from 70%+ all the way down to 59%. That's the percentage of sequenced COVID cases that were confirmed to omicron during the past week