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New York becomes fourth US state to confirm Omicron: Live

Five cases confirmed, as US announces new measures to help curb the spread of the variant including boosters.

New York has found its first cases of the Omicron variant, as the United States brought in new measures to combat COVID-19.

New York became the fourth state to confirm cases of the new strain, with a total of eight cases now reported around the US.

Key developments:

  • The new rules to tackle COVID-19 in the US include stricter testing of inbound travellers and stepping up booster jabs.
  • Germany is planning to exclude the unvaccinated from all but essential shops and services, and is considering a vaccine mandate from February.
  • A United Kingdom study has found mRNA vaccines provide the biggest booster effect

Here are the latest developments:


Hawaii reports first Omicron variant

The US state of Hawaii has confirmed its first case of the Omicron variant, saying it was a case of community spread and the person had no history of travel.

The person, an Oahu resident, had moderate symptoms. The person had previously been infected with COVID-19 but had not been vaccinated, the Department of Health said in a statement on Thursday.

Hawaii becomes the fifth US state to detect the variant, bringing the total number of cases in the country to nine.


New York finds five Omicron cases

New York has found five cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant, according to its governor.

That makes it the fourth US state to detect the variant.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul told the media one of the cases involved a 67-year-old Long Island woman with mild symptoms of a headache and cough who had recently returned from South Africa.

The other four people were New York City residents, but the governor said further information was not yet available.

“No cause for alarm,” Hochul said. “We don’t have more information at this time but we suspect there will be more cases emerging, and the best thing everyone can do is to realize we are not defenseless against this variant at all, that vaccines, we know, are going to ensure there is less severe symptoms.”


mRNA vaccines provide biggest booster effect

A UK study has found the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna provide the biggest boost to antibody levels when given 10-12 weeks after the second dose.

The “COV-Boost” study found that six out of the seven boosters examined enhanced immunity after initial vaccination with Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine, while all seven increased immunity when given after two doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

“A third dose will be effective for many of the vaccines we’ve tested and in many different combinations,” Professor Saul Faust, an immunologist at the University of Southampton and the trial’s lead, told reporters.

The study found that a full dose or half dose of Pfizer or a full dose of Moderna gave a very effective boost to both antibody and T-cell levels, regardless of whether the person initially received Pfizer or AstraZeneca.

(Al Jazeera)

Click here for all the updates from Thursday, December 2.




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