New preliminary evidence seems to be indicative of the COVID vaccines being less effective against infection and transmission linked to coronavirus variant omicron, which also, according to the World Health Organization, carries a higher risk of reinfection.
In its weekly update, the WHO stated that more information is needed for them to better understand the extent to which the new variant might evade immunity derived from vaccines or previous infections of the illness.
“As a result of this, the overall risk related to the new variant of concern omicron remains very high,” it went on to say, supporting comments made by WHO officials during an online briefing held on Tuesday.
WHO: COVID-19 Vaccines May be Less Effective Against Omicron(Dreamstime)
Wednesday, 15 December 2021 07:07 AM
Preliminary evidence indicates that COVID-19 vaccines may be less effective against infection and transmission linked to the omicron coronavirus variant, which also carries a higher risk of reinfection, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.
The WHO, in its weekly epidemiological update said that more data was needed to better understand the extent to which omicron may evade immunity derived from either vaccines or previous infection.
“As a result of this, the overall risk related to the new variant of concern omicron remains very high,” it said, echoing comments made by WHO officials at an online briefing on Tuesday.
For the first time since the dominant delta variant was classified as a variant of concern in April, the percentage of delta sequences registered on the GISAID global science database has declined this week compared with other variants of concern, it said.
This needs to be interpreted with caution as countries may perform targeted sequencing for omicron and therefore upload fewer sequences on all other variants, including delta, it said.
The delta variant is still dominant, however, accounting for 99.2% of the almost 880,000 sequences uploaded to GISAID with specimens collected in the last 60 days.
However, the trend is beginning to decline in the proportion of alpha, beta, and gamma, and now with the emergence of the new omicron variant of the illness.
“Out of the total, some 3,755 – or 0.4% – were omicron and the other three variants of concern together numbered 401, less than 0.1% each,” the Newsmax report said.