The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading faster than the Delta and is causing infections in people already vaccinated or who have recovered from the disease. Covid-19said Monday the head of the World Health Organization (WHO).
“There is now consistent evidence that omicron is spreading significantly faster than the delta variant,” said the WHO director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a media briefing in Geneva, held in the new headquarters building.
“And people vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 are more likely to become infected or reinfected,” he added.
WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said the variant is managing to evade some immune responses, meaning that booster programs being put in place in many countries should target people with weaker immune systems.
Omicron seems to be better at evading the antibodies generated by some vaccines against Covid-19But there are other forms of immunity that can prevent infection and disease, WHO officials said.
“We do not believe that all vaccines are going to be completely ineffective,” Swaminathan said.
WHO expert Abdi Mahamud indicated that “although we are seeing a reduction in neutralizing antibodies, almost all the data shows that purpose T they remain intact, which is what we really need. “
Although the antibody defenses of some courses have been weakened, there is hope that the purpose T, the second pillar of the immune response, can prevent severe disease by attacking infected human cells.
Referring to a treatment for persons with the disease, Swaminathan said without elaborating that “of course it is a challenge, many of the monoclonals will not work with Omicron.”
However, the WHO team also offered a world facing a new wave some hope that 2022 will be the year the pandemic – which has already killed more than 5.6 million people worldwide. world-end, with the development of second and third generation vaccines, antimicrobial treatments and other innovations.
“(We hope) to consign this disease in a relatively mild, easily preventable, easily treatable … and easily cope with this disease in the future,” said Mike Ryan, Principal WHO emergency expert.
“If we can keep transmission of the virus to a minimum, we can end the pandemic,” he added.
However, Tedros also said that China, where the coronavirus was first detected SARS-CoV-2 By the end of 2019, you should be willing to contribute data and information related to your origin to help the response in the future.
“We have to continue until we know the origins, we have to push harder because we must learn from what happened this time to (do) better in the future,” he said.