Faster dissemination and reduced vaccine efficacy for Omicron?

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19 seems to spread more than the Delta variant, cause less severe symptoms and make vaccines less effective, said the WHO on Sunday, which emphasizes that the data remains very fragmented. Omicron is now present in 63 countries, said the organization in a technical update, which confirms the statements of its officials in recent days. This faster diffusion of Omicron is seen not only in South Africa, where Delta was less prevalent, but also in the United Kingdom, where this variant dominates.

WHO does not know at this time – for lack of sufficient data – whether this high rate of spread in populations with high immunity is due to Omicron “evading immunity, benefiting from inherent higher transmissibility, or ‘it is a combination of the two’. The organization predicts, however, that “Omicron is likely to outperform Delta in places where there is community transmission.”

Lighter symptoms?

The data are not yet sufficient either to establish the degree of severity of the disease caused by Omicron, although for the moment the symptoms appear “mild to moderate” both in southern Africa, where it has been detected, as well as in southern Africa, where it has been detected. in Europe. As for anti-Covid vaccines, the limited data available as well as Omicron’s genetic profile suggest “a drop in effectiveness” with regard to protection against “infection and transmission”.

For their part, the Pfizer and BioNTech laboratories – which developed the Cominarty vaccine, one of the most effective against Covid so far – assured at the end of last week that it was “still effective” after three doses against Omicron. The countries that have the means are already encouraging the majority of populations to be administered a booster dose. This is particularly the case in Europe faced with a new wave of infections, caused by Delta, following the premature abandonment of health restrictions but also sometimes insufficient vaccination rates.

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