According to the World Health Organization, early evidence suggests that the omicron variant may spread faster than the highly spread delta variant, but the coronavirus disease it brings is not as serious-although it is too early to make a conclusion.
This new variant, which first appeared in southern Africa last month, has attracted widespread attention. This has prompted some countries to close their borders and shake the stock market, worrying that a possible new variant of the virus may have long-term effects. At least 267 million people died and more than 5.2 million people died.
Dr. Michael Ryan, the head of the WHO emergency, told reporters on Wednesday that the data so far on the omicron variant “shows that a virus can spread effectively, and may even be more effective than the delta variant”, which is by far the most widespread and spreading The most widespread virus. Fatal version.
Maria Van Kerkhove, head of COVID-19 technology at the United Nations health agency, warned that it is too early to determine the severity of the disease caused by omicron. She said there is only “anecdotal information.”
“Of course we have information from South Africa, and many patients identified as omicron have a milder course,” she said. “But it does take time for people to go through the entire infection process.”
At the same time, WHO officials insisted on their position that booster injections for people who have already been vaccinated should be a secondary priority, rather than providing people with the first dose of vaccine where vaccination coverage is relatively low. .
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist of the World Health Organization, said that “promoting wholesale is not the solution at the moment.” This seems to imply the policies of some countries, especially in hard-hit Europe and the United States, which encourage a wide range of people to be vaccinated, not just Only the groups that are considered particularly vulnerable.
She said: “Data from country after country shows that people living in intensive care units, people who are seriously ill, and people who are dying are not vaccinated.” “I think this message is loud and clear. It is to prevent serious diseases and The main vaccination process for death-this must be our goal.”
She added that in countries where there is a large supply of vaccines but as many as 50% of people are not vaccinated, boosters are useless, whether for concerns about secondary effects or other reasons.
Swaminathan said: “At this point, the benefits we get from people who have not received a primary vaccination course will be higher than providing additional doses to people who have completed the primary course.”
The agency had hoped to vaccinate priority populations—the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and health care workers—in all countries before the end of this year. But wealthy countries with large stocks of vaccines monopolize most vaccines.