The WHO boss emphasized on Wednesday that the omicron variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 appears to have a higher reinfection rate but less severe symptoms than the delta variant.
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“Preliminary data from South Africa indicate that the risk of re-infection with Omicron is high, but more data are needed to formulate conclusive conclusions. There is also some evidence that Omicron causes less severe symptoms than Delta, but it’s too early to say for sure,” the World Health Organization in Geneva said. Tedros Adhanam Ghebreas said in a press briefing.
In order to get a more accurate picture of the features of the variant more quickly, all the countries were asked to cooperate with his assessment by submitting their data to the company. He also called on all countries to continue their efforts in the field of vaccination and immunization signals to combat this even better.
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO’s Chief Scientist, has also returned to the preliminary studies published in recent days, showing that this variant is less effective than the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNtech, and called on her to be more careful in interpreting them.
“The system is very complex when we know that there is a huge variance in the reduction in the effect of antibodies from 4 to 5 times less than 40 times less in these different studies, which are limited to studying the effect on antibodies,” she said.
“It is premature to conclude that a reduction in the neutralizing activity of antibodies leads to a significant reduction in the effectiveness of vaccines”.