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Expert Warns CNN This Next Variant Surge Is Coming Soon

Dr. Michael Osterholm told CNN, "It's not a question of if. It's going to happen."
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Epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm, who serves on Joe Biden's covid advisory panel, warned the public this morning on CNN we haven't begun to see the effects of the next surge.

He started by telling John Avlon he thought the vaccines were going to have some resistance over time to the next wave of virus variants.

"We're going to have to continue to monitor that. I'm optimistic it will have more resistance to the variant," he said.

"You know, the last time I was on with you, Alisyn, we talked about the fact of trying to extend single doses to as many people as possible. We keep hearing in the media every day, we're vaccinating 3 million people a day. Well, that's not really quite the story. Remember, this is a two-dose vaccine regimen, so that's really 1.5 million per day. We still have people 65 and older who have not had a drop of vaccine yet.

"Boy, could we use more people being protected before this b.1.1.7. surge occurs here. This b.1.1.7. surge is going to happen. It's not an issue of if it's going to happen. If you follow what's happened in the past year, the Upper Midwest and Northeast light up first. They have the first set of cases and the Southern sunbelt cases light up next. Even though we're seeing few cases in that area, mark my word, in the next 6 to 8 weeks, we're going to see more. That's the key message."

"Let me ask you about the people half vaccinated like myself," Camerota said.

"If you've gotten one dose of Moderna or Pfizer, how protected are you right now?"

"The CDC's own admission, I saw in a publication CDC put out, after the first dose, you have 80% protection," he said.

"Imagine vaccinating one person with two doses. One at 90%, the other person at zero percent. If I vaccinated both of you, that's 80% protection for both of you. That is the better position to be in. There was a major paper published this past week that demonstrated the very low likelihood of new variants emerging because of the single-dose approach. And remember, we're only saying single dose temporarily. We're delaying the second dose.

"We want people to get it, but let's wait till we have much more vaccine in the stockpile in May and June, and wait for this surge. You know, Alysin, I take no comfort at all, but I'm telling you right now, we're just beginning to surge. Denying it is not going to stop it. We're walking into the mouth of this virus monster as if somehow we don't know it's here.

"Now it's here. Now is the time to do all the things that we must do to slow down transmission, not open up. And we've got to get more vaccine out to more people."

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