The number of infections caused by the COVID-19 omicron variant could quadruple, according to model data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, but there is a glimmer of hope in the data.
Data for Texas shows a significant spike in daily cases, from an average of between 60,000 and 80,000 to nearly 280,000 new cases per day after the beginning of the year. That peak could start to subside in mid-January to early February, according to the model.
Despite the significant spike in cases, daily deaths actually trend down due to milder symptoms and protection provided by the vaccine and boosters.
Hospital bed availability also improves, despite the spike in cases. ICU bed use trends down as well.
The news comes on the same day as some drug shortages are reported around Texas.
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services said centers in Austin, El Paso, Fort Worth, San Antonio and the Houston area have run out of Sotrovimab, which is the monoclonal antibody treatment effective against omicron.
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The agency says the treatment cannot be offered until January, when the next shipment of the drug is expected to arrive from the federal government.
Antibody drugs for coronavirus variants other than omicron are still available, the agency said.
Supply of the drug is "extremely limited, and additional doses of the product will not be available until the week of January 3rd," the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement posted online.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.