With over a total of 63 countries witnessing Omicron cases, WHO has emphasised that Omicron appears to have a growth advantage over the Delta variant.
Omicron is spreading faster than the Delta variant. The first Omicron case was noted in South Africa and the country also faces a faster transmission with the increase in number of cases.
Due to lack of data, WHO is not able to identify the transmission rate of Omicron. In its technical brief (December 10, 2021) WHO has said that,”preliminary evidence suggests reduction in vaccine efficacy against infection and transmission associated with Omicron”.
WHO in a technical brief said that, “there is limited available data on vaccine efficacy or effectiveness to date for Omicron”.
WHO has also emphasised that the overall risk related to new variant of Omicron remains very high and highlights two reasons, firstly, the global risk of Covid-19 which remains very high, and secondly, the preliminary evidence stated that the potential humoral immune escapes against the infection and results in high transmission rate, which will further lead to severe consequences.
From the preliminary findings of South Africa, Omicron infections have caused mild illness or asymptomatic cases, but due to the insufficient data, it is not able to establish the variants clinical severity, WHO added.
Countries with sufficient vaccine supplies have asked their citizens to receive their booster vaccines. Vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and BioNTech have said that their vaccines are effective against Omicron.