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15 Dec 2021

WHO Officially Says that COVID-19 Vaccines may not be Effective Against Omicron

The Index Today

The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that the preliminary evidence at hand is indicating that COVID-19 vaccines may be less effective against infection and transmission linked to the new Omicron coronavirus variant, and also carries a higher risk of reinfection.

The WHO, in its weekly epidemiological update, said that more data was needed to better understand the extent to which Omicron may evade immunity derived from either vaccines or previous infection.

WHO officials at an online briefing on Tuesday said, "As a result of this, the overall risk related to the new variant of concern Omicron remains very high."

This needs to be interpreted with caution as countries may perform targeted sequencing for Omicron and therefore upload fewer sequences on all other variants, including Delta, WHO added.

With the recent facts present, the Delta variant is still dominant, however, accounting for 99.2% of the almost 880,000 sequences uploaded to GISAID with specimens collected in the last 60 days.

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