From a South African epidemiologist – news about the effectiveness of vaccines against omicron

Professor Salim Abdool Karim, who served as the government’s chief adviser during the initial response to the pandemic, added that it was still too early to say that the omicron variant caused more severe clinical symptoms than previous variants, Reuters reported.

However, the new strain appears to be more contagious and more likely to infect vaccinated or diseased individuals.

“Given the available knowledge and data on how other strains of concern have responded to vaccine-induced resistance, we can expect current vaccines to continue to provide effective protection against hospitalization and severe disease, and that the protection afforded by vaccines is likely to remain high,” he told a news conference. . SA Karimas.

Prevention of a severe form of the disease is largely responsible for T cell immunity, which is different from antibody immunity, which often prevents infection, “so if the new strain is able to avoid antibodies, it is very difficult to avoid T cells,” he said.

The country’s chief epidemiologist warned it was newly detected COVID-19 omikron strain this week may lead coronavirus South Africa, the number of infections could triple.

“We can expect more infectivity, so we will get more cases soon,” said Dr. Karimas at an online press conference at the Ministry of Health. – According to my calculations, by the end of the week we will register more than 10 thousand. cases ’.

On Sunday, health watchers reported more than 2,800 cases of infection, up from an average of 500 a day a week earlier and 275 a week earlier.

PAR researchers on Thursday announced a new, highly mutated strain of COVID-19 that found a sharp rise in the number of infections in Africa’s worst-affected coronavirus country.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called the omicron strain a cause for concern and still appreciates its virulence, although experts agree it can be highly contagious.

There are also concerns that the omicron strain may be more resistant to certain antibodies, although its efficacy with vaccines is still being evaluated.

The severity of the disease caused by it has not yet been determined, although preliminary data suggest that the symptoms are relatively mild.

“Even if omicron isn’t clinically worse, and certainly the individual episodes don’t show any warning signs yet … we’ll probably see an (increasing number of cases) due to the rapid spread,” said SA Karim.

Dozens of countries have imposed travel bans on South Africa and its neighbors to prevent the omicron strain, even though it has already been detected in at least 11 other states.

Delphi Recalls that a South African doctor who announced the danger of a new strain of coronavirus reported on Sunday that dozens of patients treated by her suspected of having the new strain developed mild symptoms, resulting in people recovering without hospital treatment.

Angelique Coetzee, president of the South African Medical Association, told AFP she had about 30 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past ten days and had unfamiliar symptoms.

“They went to the clinic because of extreme fatigue,” said a doctor at the clinic in Pretoria, who said it was unusual for younger patients.

The majority of patients this year were men under 40 years of age. Slightly less than half of them were vaccinated. They also had some aching muscles, a sore throat and a dry cough. Only a few patients had a slight increase in temperature.

These symptoms were significantly different from other strains, causing much more severe symptoms.

Coetzee reported on the “clinical picture that does not match the Delta strain” currently prevalent in South Africa on November 18, when it received the first seven of its thirty patients.

According to the doctor, South African scientists had already captured a new strain at that time, which was named B.1.1.529. It was announced on 25 November.

The news has caused panic and led a number of countries to ban people from southern Africa.

Mr Coetzee regrets that the omicron strain has caused such a stir and rumors that it is an “extremely dangerous strain of the virus” with many mutations, although the virulence of this strain is still not fully known.

The World Health Organization finds this strain worrying. Scientists are still evaluating its performance.

A highly mutated strain is thought to be much more contagious and immune-resistant. However, its ability to avoid the effects of vaccines is still being assessed.

“We are not saying that a severe form of the disease cannot develop later,” Coetzee said. – But at least for now, even the unvaccinated patients we’ve seen have mild symptoms. I’m pretty sure … that a lot of people in Europe are already infected with the virus. “

Official statistics show that nearly three-quarters of COVID-19 cases in South Africa in recent days have been caused by an omicron strain. Cases of this strain have already been detected in Australia, Italy, the UK and Belgium.

WHO: The risk for the coronavirus omicron variant is very high

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Monday that the new variant of coronavirus omicron poses a “very high” risk worldwide, although its dangers and infectivity are not yet clear.

According to this United Nations agency, the omicron strain identified for the first time in the Republic of South Africa (PAR) [atsako] and increased infectivity ’.

“Further omicron [atmainos] the chances of spreading around the world are high, ”the WHO warned in a technical letter.

The organization added that no deaths related to the omicron variant have been reported so far.

However, even if the new variant did not turn out to be more dangerous or more fatal than the previous ones, the easier spread would mean more COVID-19 cases, more pressure on health systems, and more deaths, the WHO said.

“If the omicron causes another big wave of COVID-19, the consequences could be severe,” the document said. “The overall global risk associated with the new omicron variant of concern is considered to be very high.”

According to the WHO, countries should monitor more closely and work towards a clear picture of where and at what rate the new variety is spreading.

The WHO is also calling for COVID-19 vaccination to be stepped up, especially in vulnerable, unvaccinated populations.

However, the organization warns against posting travel restrictions for fear that blocking travel from countries where new options are being spotted first could be an unfair practice and could discourage virus surveillance.

“Because the omicron variant has already been detected in several regions of the world, travel bans … are undermining global solidarity in Africa,” said Matshidiso Moeti, director of the WHO’s Africa unit.

More and more countries, including Britain, Indonesia, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the US, are imposing travel restrictions on South Africa.

It is strictly forbidden to use the information published by DELFI on other websites, in the media or elsewhere, or to distribute our material in any form without consent, and if consent has been obtained, DELFI must be cited as the source.

Leave a Comment