Omicron spreads faster and vaccines are arguably less effective

The World Health Organization said Sunday that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 appears to be spreading more than the delta variant, causing less severe symptoms and making vaccines less effective, stressing that the data is still very fragmented.

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The organization said in a technical update that Omicron is now present in 63 countries, which confirms the statements of its officials in recent days.

According to the World Health Organization, Omicron appears to be spreading faster than the Delta variant, which is still responsible for most infections in the world at the moment. This faster spread is seen not only in South Africa, where deltas were less prevalent, but also in the United Kingdom, where this variant predominates.

The World Health Organization does not know at this time – due to a lack of sufficient data – whether this high rate of prevalence in the highly immunocompromised population is due to Omicron “evading immunity, taking advantage of the high inherent transmissibility, or a combination of the two”.

The organization predicts, however, that “Omicron is likely to outpace Delta in places where there is community transmission.”

Les données ne sont pas encore suffisantes non plus pour établir le degré de gravité de la maladie provoquée par Omicron, même si pour l’heure les symptômes paraissent « légers à modérés » aussi a bienù, é frique é quét in Europe.

For COVID vaccines, the limited data available as well as the omicron genetic profile indicate a ‘reduction in efficacy’ with regard to prevention of ‘infection and transmission’.

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For their part, Pfizer Laboratories and BioNTech — which developed the Cominarty vaccine, one of the most effective vaccines against COVID to date — confirmed last weekend that it was “still effective” after three doses against Omicron.

Most countries that can afford it already encourage people to get a booster dose. This is especially the case in Europe, which is facing a new wave of infections from Delta, after the early abandonment of health restrictions, but also sometimes inadequate vaccination rates.

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