a Omicron variable Act Corona Virus The World Health Organization said on Wednesday (8) that the infection rate is again higher, causing milder symptoms, while Pfizer and BioNTech confirmed that their anti-viral vaccine is “effective” against this strain after three years. Immunizing agent doses.
“Preliminary data from South Africa indicate an increased risk of reinfection by omicrons, but more data is needed to draw more solid conclusions,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said cautiously during a press meeting in Geneva.
“There is also evidence to suggest that Omicron causes less severe symptoms than Delta [a variante mais dominante atualmente]But it’s too early to be sure.”
Pfizer Laboratories and BioNTech, in turn, have insisted on the efficacy of their current vaccine against the omicron variant.
These announcements were preceded by high-ranking scientists at the United Nations and the White House, who indicated that current vaccines against the virus are still related to Omicron, whose recent discovery in South Africa sparked a wave of panic.
US virologist Angela Rasmussen said the first data published by Pfizer and other independent studies were “at least encouraging”.
“A third dose will reduce the risk of infection among the vaccinated,” he told AFP.
However, he urged caution, noting that antibody levels – the only ones measured so far – are not the only way to deal with the disease.
Questions about the event
The first, very partial, results of the study did not generate much optimism.
According to AHRI (African Health Research Institute), the South African organization that sponsored one of the first studies on omicron resistance to vaccines, this alternative “partly escapes the immunity provided by Pfizer’s vaccine.”
Michael Ryan, who is responsible for emergencies at the World Health Organization, noted that studies of this alternative are still in their infancy.
The omicron was discovered on November 24 by the South African authorities and its existence has since been confirmed in dozens of countries.
“The general pattern that we’re seeing so far is not showing an increase in severity. In fact, in some places in South Africa, milder symptoms are being reported,” the doctor said, in line with AFP’s Anthony Fauci, White. Scientific Advisor House.
However, Fauci added, Omicron is clearly “highly transmissible”, possibly more than delta.
Pfizer and BioNTech caution that “it is possible (the new alternative) will not be sufficiently neutralized after two doses.”
But they said, based on unpublished studies, that the vaccine remains effective against the coronavirus, including the variant Omicron, if three doses are given.
However, the two laboratories said they would continue to work on “preparing a specific vaccine” against Omicron, hoping “to have it available in March, if adaptation is necessary.”
United Nations against compulsory vaccination
In any case, mandatory vaccination is not acceptable under any circumstances, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights warned on Wednesday.
“Under no circumstances should people be forcibly vaccinated, although if a person refuses to comply with the obligation to vaccinate, they may face legal consequences, such as an appropriate fine,” Michelle Bachelet said in a video message.
This, despite the concern in Europe, in the midst of the fifth wave caused by delta variable.
Given the number of cases on the continent, the World Health Organization has recommended better protection for children, the currently most affected group, leaving mandatory vaccination as a “last resort”.
To avoid the closure of new schools and the return of distance education, the European arm of the World Health Organization advises to strengthen testing in schools and to consider vaccinating school children.
In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the tightening of restrictions, with widespread teleworking from Monday and a commitment to provide health passports in some places.
Norway also announced measures, such as limiting the number of people in meetings from Thursday.
The Danish government, in turn, decided to extend the Christmas holiday by four days and imposed a generalization of remote work for as long as possible from December 10. Additionally, bars and restaurants are expected to close at midnight.
Meanwhile, Austria’s famous opera ball, scheduled for February 24 in Vienna, has been canceled for the second year in a row due to the pandemic.
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