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COVID-19 | Omicron rapidly overtakes Delta in terms of circulation: WHO

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Since December, six studies have provided evidence of reduced vaccine efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine against Omicron variants, said the COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update published by WHO.

World Health Organization (WHO) officials warn that Omicron is quickly overtaking the delta variant of COVID-19 and is becoming dominant around the world, and the World Health Organization warns that “more evidence”. doing. Compared to other variants, the severity of the disease is low.

Maria van Kerhof, an infectious disease epidemiologist and WHO COVID-19 technical lead, said on January 11 that it could take time for Omicron to overtake Delta.

“Omicrons have been detected in all countries with good sequencing and can be detected in all countries around the world. It quickly overtakes the Delta in terms of its circulation. Omicron is becoming a major variant detected, “Kerkhove said in a virtual Q & A session.

She further warns, “It’s not a mild illness,” because “people are still hospitalized for Omicron,” despite the information that Omicron causes a less severe illness than Delta. did. According to the COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update released by WHO, more than 15 million new COVID-19 cases were reported worldwide during the week of January 3-9, an increase of 55% compared to the approximately 9.5 million cases of the previous week. Did. It was reported.

Last week, more than 43,000 new deaths were reported. As of January 9, more than 304 million confirmed COVD-19 cases and more than 5.4 million deaths have been reported.

The United States (4,610,359 new cases; 73% increase), France (1,597,203 new cases; 46% increase), the United Kingdom (1,217,258 new cases; 10% increase) and Italy had the highest number of new cases. It was (1,014,358 cases). According to the renewal, new cases; 57% increase) and India (638,872 new cases; 524% increase).

Kerkhove said the 15 million cases reported in the last seven days were “the highest ever in this pandemic,” given surveillance challenges around the world and unregistered home COVID-19 self-tests. “Underestimated”. ..

According to the latest WHO information, Omicron variants have significant growth benefits and are rapidly replacing other variants.

“This subspecies has a shorter doubling time than previous variants and has been shown to be infected even among vaccinated individuals and those with a history of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. There is increasing evidence that this variant can evade immunity. “

With regard to the severity of the disease, there is increasing evidence that the Omicron variant is less severe than other mutants.

Citing a non-peer-reviewed retrospective cohort study in the United States, the latest information is that although the number of pediatric cases and the absolute number of hospitalizations are currently increasing in the United States, the risk of hospitalization is compared to other age groups. And suggests that it remains low. During the period during which Omicron is circulating compared to the period during which the delta mutation was predominant.

The update also noted that since December, six studies have provided evidence of reduced vaccine efficacy (VE) of the COVID-19 vaccine against Omicron mutants.

“Early VE estimates for Omicron variants need to be interpreted with caution due to potential bias, but these preliminary results show an increase in time from vaccination compared to Delta. It provides evidence of a significant reduction in efficacy of the vaccine against Omicron mutants, along with a significant reduction in efficacy .. Booster vaccination may improve VE for infection and hospitalization with Omicron variants. It looks like, but we need more data to assess both the scale and duration of protection, “said the update.

The WHO Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition (TAG-CO-VAC) has updated the composition of the current COVID-19 vaccine as the coronavirus evolves, “COVID-19 Vaccine Continues to Provide WHO. It may be necessary to guarantee that. ” -Recommended level of protection against VOC infections and diseases, including Omicrons and future variants. “There will be an increase in hospitalizations and deaths as Omicron invades and circulates in vulnerable populations, so the virus should be treated as seriously as it needs to be treated,” Kerkhove said. Please. The story that it’s a common cold isn’t true. The story that it’s just calm isn’t true. So we really have to fight it. It’s not time to give up. “

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