Clarity on various aspects of Omicron awaited: WHO

The constant flow of information about Omicron has left people wondering about the efficacy of vaccines against the new variant of concern, the rate of transmission, concerns about a third wave of coronavirus and severity of infection caused by the variant, among other aspects.

On Sunday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) communicated all that is currently known about its transmissibility, severity, effectiveness of test and vaccines and treatment required. For a majority of the aspects, however, WHO stated that clarity is yet to be gained. In their communication titled ‘Update on Omicron’, WHO said it is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible and causes more severe disease compared to infections with other variants, including Delta.

“WHO is working with technical partners to understand the potential impact of this variant on our existing countermeasures, including vaccines. The widely used PCR tests continue to detect infection, including infection with Omicron, as we have seen with other variants as well. Studies are ongoing to determine whether there is any impact on other types of tests, including rapid antigen detection tests,” it said,

To gain better understanding of Omicron, WHO is coordinating with researchers from across the world. “Studies currently under way or under way shortly include assessments of transmissibility, severity of infection (including symptoms), performance of vaccines and diagnostic tests, and effectiveness of treatments,” it added.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 10:18:19 PM |

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