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US Vice President Kamala Harris Tests Positive for Covid, White House Informs

US Vice President Kamala Harris has tested positive for Covid, news agency AFP reported citing White House.

Updated: April 27, 2022 12:57 AM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Victor Dasgupta

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US Vice President Kamala Harris / AFP

Washington: US Vice President Kamala Harris has tested positive for Covid, news agency AFP reported quoting White House. Kamala Harris has exhibited no symptoms and will isolate and continue to work from the Vice President’s residence, according to the press statement. “She has not been a close contact to the President or First Lady due to their respective recent travel schedules,” the statement noted.

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Harris, 57, received her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine weeks before taking office and a second dose just days after Inauguration Day in 2021. She received a booster shot in late October and an additional booster on April 1. Fully vaccinated and boosted people have a high degree of protection against serious illness and death from COVID-19, particularly from the most common and highly transmissible omicron variant.

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Harris is not considered a close contact to Biden or first lady Jill Biden “due to their respective recent travel schedules,” Allen’s statement said.

Allen said Harris would follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines “and the advice of her physicians.” It was not immediately clear whether she is being prescribed any antiviral treatments.

The White House has put in place strict COVID-19 protocols around the president, vice president and their spouses, including daily testing for those expected to be in close contact with them. Biden is tested regularly on the advice of his physician, the White House has said.

After more than two years and nearly a million deaths in the U.S., the virus is still killing more than 300 people a day in the U.S., according to the CDC. The unvaccinated are at a far greater risk, more than three times as likely to test positive and 20 times as likely to die from the virus than those who have received at least a primary dose of the vaccines, according to the public health agency.

Harris’ diagnosis comes as the Biden administration is taking steps to expand availability of the life-saving COVID-19 antiviral treatment Paxlovid, reassuring doctors that there is ample supply for people at high risk of severe illness or death from the virus.

Paxlovid, when administered within five days of symptoms appearing, has been proven to bring about a 90% reduction in hospitalizations and deaths among patients most likely to get severe disease.

(With Associated Press Inputs)

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