Omicron: A new variant
This new variant of Covid-19 has been considered as a variant of concern by WHO. The cases have shown that Omicron as compared to the previous variants, has the tendency to spread fast and causes more severe illness.
Studies are being conducted to learn more about the Virus.
Is it more transmissible than its other variants?
There is no clarity as yet whether Omicron is more easily spread from person to person compared to the other variants. With the number of cases rising in some countries, studies are being conducted to understand if it because of Omicron or other factors or variants are involved.
Is it causing more severe illness?
More information is required to make a confirmed statement if Omicron causes more severe illness compared to the other variants. Up until now, the preliminary data suggests that the number of cases requiring hospitalization has significantly risen in South Africa. It will take many days to gather more information and understand the degree of the severity of infection caused by Omicron. However, experience with the Delta variant, leads to the recommendation that it is prudent to take precautions, complete your primary vaccination series and get a booster dose if you fit the eligibility criteria.
Are the current vaccines effective against Omicron?
So far, vaccines play a pivotal role in reducing the severity of the disease and number of positive cases. The World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations are working to understand the effectiveness of the current available vaccines on the Omicron variant.
As we have experienced from the past, each new emerging variant has been more critical from previous variants. Studies are underway to understand Omicron, its transmissibility, infection severity, tests, treatment and the effectiveness of the vaccine.
The Sindh Government has made an initial announcement for all the citizens to ger their booster shots. Final announcement for the launch is awaited and will be made available within the near future.