THE Omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading faster than the Delta variant and is causing infections in people already vaccinated or who have recovered from the COVID-19 disease.
This declaration was made by World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“And it is more likely people vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 could be infected or re-infected,” Tedros said.
According to the WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan, the variant was successful in dodging some immune responses. This means booster programs being implemented in many countries should target people with weaker immune systems.
However, despite Omicron looks like it is evading antibodies created by some COVID-19 vaccines, WHO scientists “do not believe that all vaccines will become completely ineffective,” according to Swaminathan.
The WHO team also saw a glimmer of hope that 2022 would be the year that the pandemic will come to its end considering that second- and third-generation vaccines, antimicrobial treatments and other innovations are already in development.
“If we can keep virus transmission to (a) minimum, then (we) can bring (this) pandemic to (an) end,” WHO’s top emergency expert Mike Ryan pointed out.