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WHO says Omicron might alter trajectory of pandemic, urges govt to speed up vaccination

During a press conference, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that they could avoid Omicron from becoming a worldwide crisis.

WHO says Omicron might alter trajectory of pandemic urges govt to speed up vaccination gcw
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New York, First Published Dec 9, 2021, 9:03 AM IST
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According to the World Health Organization, the omicron version of the coronavirus might alter the trajectory of the pandemic. It urged governments to vaccinate as soon as feasible and maintain infection-prevention measures. During a press conference, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that they could avoid Omicron from becoming a worldwide crisis. He said that while the virus is evolving, the collaborative effort's commitment must not. He also stated that while preliminary evidence indicates that Omicron is milder than the delta strain, it is too soon to be conclusive.

According to Tedros, several characteristics of Omicron, such as its worldwide dissemination and the enormous number of mutations, indicate that it might significantly affect the path of the pandemic. When asked about recent research from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE on how their vaccine works against Omicron, Kate O'Brien, director of immunisation and vaccines, said the WHO is aware of the findings and would review them. While they are still in a delta pandemic, she stated that vaccinating with current vaccinations remains the priority.

Also Read | Probability of reinfection in Omicron is three times higher than Delta: WHO chief scientist

Earlier on Wednesday, Pfizer and BioNTech said that preliminary laboratory investigations indicate that the third dosage of their vaccine may be required to neutralise the omicron strain. This finding will hasten booster-shot efforts throughout the world. The WHO has urged governments to postpone booster shots to make more vaccines available to impoverished countries with low inoculation rates.

Also Read | Omicron doesn't appear to cause severe illness, 'extremely unlikely' to entirely evade vaccine protection: WHO

However, governments may be less reluctant to do so if test results demonstrate that third doses are required to defend against Omicron. The viral strain has already spread to 57 nations and looks to be more transmissible than prior variants.

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