The existing vaccines against the coronavirus are also likely to be effective against the new Omicron variant, says the leading epidemiologist in South Africa. According to Salim Abdool Karim, vaccinations also help with the latest variant against a severe disease course.
According to Abdool Karim, it is still too early to say whether the Omicron variant actually has a more severe disease course than the Delta variant. More research needs to be done on that. According to Abdool Karim, the variant is more contagious than previously known variants, even for people who have been vaccinated or have already had the virus.
The Omicron variant was recently discovered in South Africa. Many countries then introduced travel bans to prevent the variant from spreading quickly. South Africa says it will be punished that way for reporting a new variant. Health Minister Joe Phaahla says the country is in talks to roll back the bans.
The doctor, who was the first to suspect that a new variant had been found, says that the course of the disease appears to be milder for the time being than with the Delta variant. According to the World Health Organization, this is not yet certain, but it seems so because young people, in particular, have the virus. They are, in any case, less likely to become seriously ill from the coronavirus.