Omicron spreading rapidly at an unimaginable rate. Current Covid vaccines become less effective. WHO warning

  • WHO stated that the Covid-19 vaccine provides significant protection against virus.
  • Omicron now spreads at a pace we’ve never seen before with any other variant of Omicron, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reported.
  • Omicron should be considered mild, despite being now reported in at least 77 countries. 

Omicron spreads at an alarming rate, and current Covid-19 vaccinations seem to have less effectiveness in protecting against severe diseases and death. 

However, the WHO stated that vaccination still provides a’significant level of protection’ against the virus.

The variant was first discovered in South Africa, Hong Kong, and elsewhere last month. This has been confirmed by at least 77 countries.

Tedros said that Omicron was spreading faster than any variant before it. Omicron is a less serious disease than others, and the number of Omicron cases can overwhelm already overwhelmed health systems.

The variant first detected in South Africa and Hong Kong last month has now been reported by 77 countries and is probably present in most worldwide, but should not be dismissed as 'mild', WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (pictured) said

The variant was first discovered in South Africa, Hong Kong, and elsewhere last month. This has been confirmed by at least 77 countries. While it is most likely present in the majority of worlds, this should not be ignored, Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom (pictured), said 

Following the UK’s confirmation of 1,239 more Omicron-related cases in the UK, the UK Covid Alert level was elevated to 4 from 3 

He said that “evolving evidence suggests an increase in vaccine effectiveness against severe diseases and death and in prevention of mild disease or infections,” but did not give specifics.

According to an actual-world study, the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer BioNTech in South Africa has proved less efficient in keeping the virus-infected outpatients than the Omicron version.

Mike Ryan, WHO’s emergency director, stated that vaccines do not fail and provide substantial protection against serious disease and death.

“The real question here is: How much protection do the vaccines we currently use against Omicron offer? They are lifesaving and can save lives. To what degree are we losing protection against Omicron-related severe illness or death? Data points to significant protection.

An 11-year-old girl receives a vaccine against Covid-19 in Amagar, Denmark on November 28

On November 28, a vaccination against Covid-19 was given to an 11 year old girl at Amagar in Denmark.

Ryan stated that the peak of this epidemic is still a few weeks away due to the rapid spread Omicron, which outpaces the global dominant strain Delta.

Tedros stated that vaccine booster shots could play an important role in reducing the spread of COVID-19, provided people who are most vulnerable have access to vaccinations.

It’s all about prioritisation. Order matters. You don’t want to give boosters for people at very low risk of death or severe illness. It is dangerous because it puts at risk the lives of high-risk patients who still have not received their first doses due to supply limitations.

He said, “On the contrary, giving extra doses of medication to patients at higher risk may save lives more than giving primary doses for those who are at lower risk.”

Tedros pointed out that Omicron’s emergence had led some countries to implement COVID-19 booster programs for all their adult population, even though there is no evidence of its effectiveness.

He stated that the WHO was concerned about programs like these, as they could replicate the practice of vaccine hoarding seen this year and increase inequity.