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WHO Scientist / Do not panic about the Omicron variant

WHO Scientist / Do not panic about the Omicron variant

World Health Organization (WHO) scientist Soumya Swaminatha urges people not to panic about the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant and says it is too early to say whether the vaccines will need to be reworked.

In an interview with Reutres, Swaminathan said it was impossible to predict whether Omicron would become the dominant variant.

The scientist said Omicron "was very contagious" and cited data from South Africa showing that the number of cases was doubling every day.

"How much should we worry about? We need to be prepared and careful, not panic, because we are in a different situation from a year ago," she said.

"Delta accounts for 99% of infections worldwide. This variant would have to be more contagious to stand out from the competition and become dominant worldwide. It is possible, but we can not predict."

The Omicron variant remains very unknown, which has been discovered in many countries, while parts of Europe face a wave of infections of the most popular Delta variant.

"We have to wait, let's hope it's softer ... but it's too early to conclude about the variant as a whole," Swaminathan said.

WHO Emergency Director Mike Ryan said there was no evidence to support a change in vaccines to fit them according to Omicron.

"Right now, we have very effective vaccines that are working. We need to focus on getting them more evenly distributed. We need to focus on vaccinating the most vulnerable people," Ryan said in a statement on social media.