Omicron unlikely to be more severe or to fully evade vaccines: WHO

It’s early days, but the World Health Organisation has sounded a note of very cautious optimism concerning the Omicron Covid-19 variant. According to an AFP report, the WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan says early data reveals the mutation is no more extreme than earlier variants and unlikely to fully dodge vaccine safety. However, Ryan cautions that it’s nonetheless too soon to make definitive statements in regards to the severity of the risk posed by the variant.
“The preliminary information doesn’t point out that that is extra severe. In fact, if anything, the course is in the path of much less severity. It’s very early days, we now have to be very cautious how we interpret that sign.”

Ryan adds that whereas current vaccines could turn into much less effective in opposition to the model new pressure, it’s “highly unlikely” that Omicron will handle to evade vaccine safety utterly.
“We have to verify if there’s any lapse in that safety, however I would expect to see some protection there. The preliminary information from South Africa wouldn’t indicate that we’ll have a catastrophic lack of efficacy. In fact, the other in the meanwhile.”

The WHO boss provides that the very fact Omicron seems to be extra transmissible than earlier variants is not any shock.
“When any new variant emerges, it’s going to tend to be extra transmissible, because it’s received to compete with earlier variants.”

Responding to suggestions that the variant could also be better at infecting people who are absolutely vaccinated or who’ve already had Covid-19, Ryan says the goal of vaccines has at all times been to stop extreme sickness, not essentially to prevent individuals contracting the virus. Therefore, supplied Extraordinary who turn into re-infected are asymptomatic or have solely gentle symptoms, there may be much less cause for concern.
He provides that, on the end of the day, the Omicron variant is still Covid-19 and therefore the same disease prevention measures, including vaccination, face masks, and social distancing, nonetheless have an important function to play.
“The virus hasn’t modified its nature. It could have changed in terms of its efficiency, but it hasn’t changed the sport completely. The guidelines of the game are nonetheless the same.”

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