Triple-Vaccinated New York Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett Tests Positive for SARS-CoV-2
New York’s acting Health Commissioner, Dr. Mary Bassett, has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, Governor Kathy Hochul revealed during a briefing on Monday (Dec. 20).
New York’s top health official got a positive result via a rapid test despite being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and receiving a booster shot, the governor said.
“She’ll be having another PCR test just to confirm that, so in the meantime, we’re going to take all the necessary precautions and she left the office immediately and we’re just waiting for those results,” Hochul said.
“Everyone who sees me is tested, or all the team that comes through here is tested every day,” she added.
3 Triple-Vaccinated Democratic Lawmakers Test Positive for SARS-CoV-2 in 24 Hours
Three Democratic members of Congress announced Sunday (Dec. 19) that they have breakthrough COVID-19 cases.
Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey as well as Congressman Jason Crow of Colorado shared that they had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 via tweets from their official accounts.
They all reported being fully vaccinated and having received COVID-19 booster shots.
3 Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine Not Enough to Stop Omicron Variant, Warns BioNTech CEO
COVID-19 vaccines will not be enough to stop the Omicron variant, warned the CEO of BioNTech on Monday (Dec. 20), the German company behind the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine produced with Pfizer.
“We must be aware that even triple-vaccinated are likely to transmit the disease…It is obvious we are far from 95% effectiveness that we obtained against the initial virus,” Ugur Sahin told the French daily Le Monde.
The German company is already designing a new COVID-19 vaccine adapted to the Omicron variant, using Omicron’s spike protein and its 32 mutations as an antigen. Sahin announced this should be ready by March 2022.
“We remain on track with our 100-day target, which means we should be able to deliver our first suitable vaccines to Omicron in March, subject to regulatory approval,” he said.
Some researchers have voiced concern about the effect of these new Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccines because they could risk boosting an inadequate immune system defense.
Pressed on this, Sahin said: “This principle is an unproven hypothesis, personally, I don’t think this is a real problem. The immune system has high adaptability and plasticity, and should be able to activate both, strengthening existing immune responses while generating new antibodies.”
“But we will obviously have to assess it.”