Omicron variant detected in Belgium: “The vaccine will continue to be effective against this variant,” says this expert

South African researchers have discovered as a reminder a new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron, with an unusually high number of mutations and that would be highly transmissible, causing global panic and the cancellation of many international flights. The World Health Organization classified it as “worrisome” on Friday.

Scientists are working around the clock to dissect it and try to understand its behavior.

It is currently unknown where this variant comes from, but South African researchers were the first to announce the discovery on November 25. By that date, cases had been detected in Hong Kong and Botswana. A day later, Israel and Belgium followed.

Can the vaccine be effective against this variant? The question was put to Hans-Willem Snoeck, professor of microbiology and immunology at Columbia University (USA), in the program C’est pas tous les jours dimanche.

“This variant will be a macro problem in terms of infectivity. There are indications that it is more contagious. Is it more fatal? We do not have data on this, we do not know. But most experts believe that vaccines will still be effective against it. variant. Perhaps a little less effective than against Delta, but there is good hope that the vaccine will work. The third dose will probably have to be adapted to this level of variant, “emphasizes Hans-Willem Snoeck.

The expert adds that “more effective” vaccines are needed in the future. “But this is not an argument against the third dose that should be injected now. Limiting travel is not very helpful in the current situation. Models prove it. This variant of Omicron is almost certainly effective. It is widespread in everyone and us will see more and more. “

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