During the last wave of the omicron variant, most sick were unvaccinated.Washington:
The COVID-19 pandemic has not gone away, Indian-origin US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy warned on Sunday, saying that cases may rise and fall in the months to come.
Dr Murthy also expressed his concern over the lack of funding to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
"When we look at what's happening around the world and over the last two years, we recognise that when cases increase in one part of the world, that often leads to increases in the other part of the world. And we should be prepared that, you know, COVID hasn't gone away," he told Fox News in an interview.
"There may be rises and falls in cases in the months ahead. But here's the key, our goal is to keep people out of the hospital, it's to save their lives, and we have more tools to do that than ever before. So our focus should be on preparation, not on panic. And if we get people these tools, vaccines, boosters, treatments, then we can actually get through waves that may come and go."
"The thing that concerns me right now is that as much work as we've done in the last two years to get the right tools, we've got to continue funding them and supporting them so they are available to people across the country. That's what Congress moving to provide that funding is so cortical," Dr Murthy said.
During the last wave of the omicron variant, most sick were unvaccinated.
"So, the bottom line is those vaccinations and boosters work and the treatments that we now have in greater quantities than ever before, those also help to reduce our risk, but you'd rather prevent an infection than get it and treat it. That's why these vaccines and boosters are essential," he asserted.
Older age and illnesses like obesity are the ones that put one at higher risk.
"Sadly, we do have a lot of people in our country who are struggling with chronic illnesses, like obesity and heart disease have put them at higher risk, and so that means as a population we've got to be even more vigilant about taking steps to prevent COVID-19."
"Those include the vaccines and boosters, but we've also found that other tools, whether they are masks, whether they are using testing strategically, these can be helpful in limiting the spread of the virus," Dr Murthy said.
Responding to a question, Dr Murthy said that he does not think they can afford to move on.
"But I do think that we can move forward with more confidence, that we can live our lives and not let COVID define our lives, because we do have, in fact, better tools that have proven to save our lives and keep us out of the hospital," he said.
"Over the last two years, COVID defined our lives, it restricted us in profound ways. But because we have better tools, we have the power to move forward now and manage the virus and do so thoughtfully because, you know, we've been able to get our kids back to school, you know, over the last year.
"I mean more than 95 per cent of kids are back in school. That's a big win. I'm a dad of two small kids who, thankfully, are back in school. We've gotten people back to work. People are seeing their family and friends again. We need to keep doing these things. We now have the tools to do so safely," Dr Murthy added.