New Covid-19 variant: Omicron
November 28, 2021
A new variant of the Covid-19 Omicron from South Africa worries the authorities and researchers who are trying to understand the aspects that will dictate the severity on the new variant.
One aspect is its transmissibility. Researchers are not yet sure whether Omicron is as transmissible as other variants like Delta. Positive cases have increased in parts of South Africa due to the Omicron variant. However, epidemiological studies are currently underway to find out whether this increase is caused by the Omicron variant or other factors.
The other aspect is the severity of the disease. Scientists are still debating whether infection caused by the Omicron variant would cause more severe disease than other Covid-19 variants. According to the data present, there is a rise in the hospitalization rate in South Africa. However, this can only be caused by the overall increase in the number of people affected rather than the infection of the new Omicron variant. As of yet, there is currently no information to suggest that the symptoms caused by Omicron are any different from those of other variants.
Information is currently limited and more information would be available in the coming weeks.
Does the vaccine work for the Omicron variant?
Due to the scale of the mutations of the new Omicron variant (32 mutations on the spike protein), scientists are concerned about the effectiveness of vaccines and the natural immunity of the population. Some believe that current vaccines are not effective and are under investigation. On the other hand, Moderna announces that a new vaccine against the Omicron variant will be ready from the year 2022.
2 cases of Omicron variant detected in Canada