WHO sees it unlikely that Ómicron is the latest variant classified as “worrisome”


Omicron variant is classified by WHO as "worrying".

Omicron variant is classified by the WHO as “worrying”.

Photo: EPA / LUONG THAI LINH / EFE

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 will surely not be the last to be classified as “worrisome” by the World Health Organization (WHO) due to factors such as its high transmissibility, experts from the Geneva-based organization warned today.

In its latest report, the WHO technical team in charge of analyzing COVID-19 vaccines predicts that “the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is expected to continue, and it is unlikely that omicron is the latest variant of concern” .

So far, five evolutions of the coronavirus have been categorized in this way, and baptized with the Greek letters alpha (first detected in the United Kingdom), beta (South Africa), gamma (Brazil), delta (India) and omicron (also in South African territory ).

The report weighs the possibility that the composition of current COVID-19 vaccines will be modified to cope with the Omicron variant.

In this sense, WHO experts suggest the need for scientists to work towards the goal of achieving a “more sustainable vaccine and with a longer-term vision, that is effective against any future variant ”.

The current vaccines, according to the studies carried out so far, seem to lose efficacy in the face of the omicron variant in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, although they continue to prove valid to prevent serious forms of the disease, as indicated by the fact that the current wave, With record numbers of infections, it is not accompanied by more deaths.

The group of experts reiterates the call for greater access of populations to vaccines against COVID-19, not only in order to reduce severe cases of the disease but also to curb the possibility of new mutations appearing.

Although the document does not oppose booster shots, it does state that “a vaccination strategy that ends up relying on repeated doses of the parent vaccine is probably not sustainable or appropriate.”

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