COVID Pandemic: Hopeful signs emerge as infections slow

The Mount Sinai South Nassau Vaxmobile made a stop at Molloy College on Monday as the first day of the spring semester got underway. Molloy is among many colleges and universities nationwide now requiring students to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster, when eligible, for on-campus learning.

"Most of the people in the hospital have not been vaccinated," Mount Sinai South Nassau chief nursing officer Stacey Conklin said. "They don't get severe illness when vaccinated and boosted."

The CDC reported the average daily COVID-19 case rate at over 769,000. While numbers in the Northeast U.S. have started to level off, other parts of the country are still seeing a surge. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease authority, is hoping in the next few weeks the level of infections will continue to drop below what he calls an area of control.

"Control means you're not eliminating it or eradicating it but it gets to such a low level, it's integrated into general respiratory infections we've learned to live with," Dr. Fauci told ABC News.

The World Health Organization said that while it is too early for nations to drop their guard, between vaccination and natural immunity through infection, omicron offers hope for stabilization and normalization.

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"The hope is omicron will not be replaced by yet another variant," said Dr. Sharon Nachman, the chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook Children's Hospital.

Last week, more than 250 doctors sent a letter to the FDA to demand that children under 5 get urgent access to COVID-19 vaccines. But over the weekend, the FDA commissioner announced a vaccine likely wouldn't be ready until at least late March.

As for a booster, experts said only time will tell whether one will be needed.

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