Omicron does not appear to cause more serious disease than previous variants of Covid-19, and it is “very unlikely” to completely avoid vaccine protections, a senior official from the World Organization told AFP on Tuesday. health (WHO).
Speaking to AFP, the second in command of the World Health Organization, said that while there is still much to learn about the new, highly mutated variant of Covid-19, preliminary data indicated that it didn’t make people any sicker than Delta and other strains.
“We have very effective vaccines which have demonstrated their potency against all the variants so far and there is no reason to believe that this would not be the case.” with Omicron, assures Michael Ryan, WHO’s emergency manager
“Preliminary data does not indicate that this is more serious. In fact, the direction is rather towards less gravity ”he added, insisting, however, that more research was needed.
He admitted, however, that the vaccines might prove to be less effective against Omicron, which is distinguished by a very high number of mutations. Corn “It is highly improbable” that the variant can completely escape the protection conferred by the vaccines.
Early data suggests that a previous coronavirus infection offers little protection against reinfection with Omicron, which the WHO identified as a variant of concern after researchers in South Africa sounded the alarm on a form highly mutated virus at the end of November.
It appears to be spreading rapidly in South Africa and is causing a spike in new infections, but may cause less severe illness in those who are infected, preliminary data shows.
It will take time to gather hard evidence and, failing it, governments around the world have rushed to ban travel to southern Africa, something South African officials have complained about unfairly punishing the country for warning the world on the new strain.