Le Matin – Covid-19: Omicron’s genetic profile suggests a “decline in effectiveness” of vaccines, according to WHO

According to the World Health Organisation, “this decline in the effectiveness of existing anti-Covid vaccines is primarily related to protection against “infection and transmission”.

The Omicron version of the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 is more likely to spread than the delta version, cause less severe symptoms and make vaccines less effective, the WHO said on Sunday, emphasizing that the data are incomplete. lives.

Omicron is now present in 63 countries, the organization said in a technical update, which confirms statements from its officials in recent days.

According to the WHO, Omicron is spreading faster than the delta variant, which still accounts for the majority of infections in the world. This rapid spread is seen not only in South Africa, where the delta was less prevalent, but also in the United Kingdom, where this variant dominates.

The WHO does not yet know – for lack of sufficient data – whether this high rate of spread in populations with high immunity is due to the fact that Omicron “escapes immunity, benefits from the inherent high transmittance, or ‘it'”. is a combination of the two”. However, the organization predicts that “Omicron may outperform Delta in places where community transmission occurs.”
Data are not yet sufficient to establish the degree of severity of the disease caused by Omicron, although symptoms appear to be “mild to moderate” in southern Africa, where it has been detected, and in Europe.

As far as anti-Covid vaccines are concerned, the limited data available as well as the genetic profile of Omicron suggest a “lack of efficacy” with respect to protection against “infection and transmission”.

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For their part, Pfizer and BioNTech Laboratories – which have developed the Cominarti vaccine, one of the most effective against Covid so far – assured late last week that it will work against Omicron even after three doses “right now”. was also effective”.

Most countries that can afford it are already encouraging people to get a booster dose. This is particularly the case in Europe facing a new wave of infections caused by deltas, following the premature abandonment of health restrictions but sometimes inadequate vaccination rates.

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