The World Health Organization said the coronavirus omicron variant could alter how the disease spreads. It urged nations to get vaccinated as quickly as they can and to keep the necessary measures in place to shield the population from being infected.
“We can prevent omicron becoming a global crisis,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the briefing held on Wednesday. “This virus is changing, but our collective resolve must not.”
The group also stated that while there’s evidence early that suggests that omicron is less abrasive than delta but it’s too early for this to establish a definitive conclusion.
“Certain features of omicron, including its global spread and large number of mutations, suggest it could have a major impact on the course of the pandemic,” Tedros declared.
In response to a question about a new study conducted by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, on the way their vaccines work against omicron Kate O’Brien, director of vaccination and immunization, stated that it is a matter of concern to the WHO is aware of the findings and will review the results.
“We are still in a delta pandemic, so vaccinate with existing vaccines continues to be the top priority,” she said.
On Wednesday, Pfizer and BioNTech said initial lab tests show that the third dosage might be required to neutralize the micron variant. This is an analysis which will speed up booster shot drives all over the world.
It is believed that the WHO has been urging countries to delay the introduction of boosters in order to make more vaccines accessible to countries with lower inoculation rates aren’t as high. However, governments are less likely to follow through as long as tests continue to prove the need for third shots to prevent the omicron.
The variant is now spreading to 57 countries and appears to be more transmittable than prior virus strains. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergency program and emergency response, said that while omicron appears to be more transmittable over delta “that does not mean the virus is unstoppable.”