New York state and Washington, DC, reported a record number of infections on Thursday.
Flying is at increased risk due to a lack of vaccine requirements and inconsistent adherence by some to fully keep their masks on, so “it could be a much safer activity than it is. is currently, “Choo told CNN’s Laura Coates on Thursday.
Speak up when you see that those around you are not wearing masks. Now is not the time to be polite and let people do what they want to do. It really is about protect everyone, ”she said.
More than 500 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States, according to CDC data. Almost 62% of all Americans are fully immunized and more than 34% of fully immunized adults have received a booster.
Expected travel difficulties
At least 2.08 million travelers were screened at U.S. airports on Wednesday, a figure higher than the same day of the week in 2019, according to the Transportation Security Administration. The agency predicts 20 million people will fly between December 23 and January 3, rivaling 2019 figures.
“The national peak of Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operations,” said a note from United obtained by CNN.
Delta Air Lines canceled 118 Christmas Eve flights, or about 5% of its total schedule, according to FlightAware.
“Delta teams have exhausted all options and resources, including rerouting and substituting aircraft and crews to cover scheduled flights,” the airline said in a statement.
Alaska Airlines said it canceled 17 flights Thursday due to Omicron and further cancellations are possible on Christmas Eve.
Boosters and masks work, researchers say
The vaccine’s effectiveness declines over time, the researchers wrote, but can be restored with a booster dose to help protect against breakthrough infections.
“Time appears to be the key factor in reducing efficacy after vaccination,” write Ravindra Gupta of the University of Cambridge in the UK and Dr Eric Topol of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in California.
“Continued transmission in highly vaccinated populations underscores the need to expand vaccination to all age groups while maintaining non-pharmacological interventions, such as mask wear,” they write.
Researchers note how, earlier in vaccine deployment, countries that spaced out the administration of the first and second doses of Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines saw longer-term sustainability of immunity against injections. , compared to countries like the United States and Israel. where the vaccine doses were given three to four weeks apart.
“The administration of two doses of mRNA vaccine, closely spaced 3 to 4 weeks apart, may have acted as a primary immunization – maximally inducing neutralizing antibodies but compromising long-lasting immunity,” the document states. This suggests that the two doses of vaccine likely acted together as primary immunizations, instead of the first dose alone being the primary as expected.
“I think we can be confident, Wolf, receiving a booster shot will provide protection throughout the holiday season and during these winter months,” he said.
Regarding a variant-specific booster that Moderna is developing, Burton has confirmed that the company will begin clinical trials in early 2022, but the continued presence of two different variants may alter plans.
CNN’s Jacqueline Howard, Deidre McPhillips, Amanda Sealy, Michael Nedelman, Pete Muntean, Sharif Paget and Andy Rose contributed to this report.