The omicron variant of the coronavirus that caused the COVID-19 appears to be more prevalent than the delta variant, causing less severe symptoms and making the vaccine less effective, the WHO said Sunday, with much of the data broken.
Omicron is now in 63 countries, the company said in a technical update, which confirms the announcements of its executives in recent days.
According to the WHO, Omicron seems to be spreading faster than the Delta variant, which is currently the cause of most infections in the world. This rapid spread is seen not only in low-delta South Africa, but also in the United Kingdom, where this variant dominates.
At the time the WHO did not know – due to a lack of sufficient data – whether this high prevalence rate in the highly immunocompromised population was due to omicran “avoiding immunity, taking advantage of the inherently high transmissibility, or ‘a combination of the two’.
However, the company estimates that “the Omicron Delta is likely to be surpassed where there is community transmission.”
Data are not yet sufficient to establish the severity of the disease caused by Omicron, but at present the symptoms are found to be “mild to moderate” in South Africa, wherever they are found and where they are found in South Africa and Europe.
In the case of anticoagulant vaccines, the limited data available indicate that Omicron’s genetic profile is “ineffective” in terms of protection against “infection and transmission”.
For their part, Pfizer and Bioentech Laboratories – which have so far developed the most effective Community vaccine against Kovid – promised last weekend that it was “still effective” after three doses against Omicron.
The majority of countries that can afford it are already encouraging people to get a booster dose. It faces new infections caused by delta, especially in Europe, after premature abandonment of health restrictions, but sometimes even inadequate vaccination rates.