Corona new variant Omicron ‘unlikely’ to reboot pandemic, says Oxford chief

The latest COVID variant originated from South Africa. The B.1.1.529 variant termed as OMICRON has at least 32 spike protein mutations, whereas the delta variant has two and the beta variant has three protein mutations. Experts in the UK have expressed optimism that vaccines will still prove effective despite the threat posed by the omicron variant. However, it will be “weeks” before the full effect is known.

The developers of Astra Zeneca vaccine have shown caution but yet optimism regarding new Corona variant Omicron that it is unlikely to be bad as how the covid started. The director of Oxford (Vaccine developer) expressed cautious optimism on Saturday that the omicron variant will now result in a “reboot” of the pandemic.

“It is extremely unlikely that a reboot of a pandemic in a vaccinated population like we saw last year is going to happen,” Professor Sir Andrew Pollard said.

“The vaccines have continued to prevent very severe disease as we’ve moved through alpha, beta, gamma, and delta,” he told the BBC.

Pollard also said he was hopeful that a new vaccine, if needed, could be developed “very rapidly.”

Pollard’s comments come after UKbased health analyst Dr. John Campbell told DW that omicron is “not likely to completely invalidate the vaccines.”

“It might reduce the efficacy but it’s looking like the vaccines will continue to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death in the vast majority of cases.” 

South African scientists stated on Thursday that the latest Corona variant Omicron, B.1.1.529, contains several changes that could help it dodge the body’s immune response and become more transmissible. The B.1.1.529 variant has at least 32 spike protein mutations, whereas the delta variant has two and the beta variant has three.

Younger people appear to be contracting and spreading the newly discovered version, but scientists say the next few weeks will be crucial in assessing how serious the variant is.

The new Corona variant Omicron discovered in South Africa will be discussed at the World Health Organization. Several countries have suspended and limited flights from the region because of concerns about the variation. 

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