London (AFP) – The head of Moderna Labs expressed disbelief about the effectiveness of currently available vaccines against the clumsy Omigran at a time when new health restrictions are on the rise in the world, as happened in the UK and Japan on Tuesday.
Data on the effectiveness of current vaccines will be available within the next two weeks, but scientists are not optimistic about this.
“All the scientists I spoke to … said ‘the situation is not going to be right,'” he told the newspaper.
But many laboratories, including Moderna, AstraZeneca, Pfizer / Jiontech and Novavax, have relied on the effectiveness of their vaccines against Omicron. Russia, for its part, has announced that it is developing a “Sputnik-V” version targeting Omigran in particular, saying that if the currently available vaccine is not effective, “this is not possible.”
According to AFP figures, the Govt-19 epidemic has killed at least 5,206,370 people in China since its outbreak in late 2019.
Tightening around the world
The new mutant, which was discovered in South Africa last week, has spread to all continents, from Canada to Italy, via Japan, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom, where six new infections were confirmed on Monday.
This prompted many countries to suspend flights with South Africa and impose preventive measures, and the most vaccinated countries urged their residents to receive a third dose.
In the United Kingdom, one of the most affected countries (145,000 deaths), muzzle wear was re-imposed on traffic and in shops. In addition, all travelers to the UK must undergo a PCR test and be isolated until the results are released.
From this weekend, London will close its borders to non-British people from 10 African countries, including South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola.
Europe, which has been the epicenter of the epidemic for weeks, seems to be the continent most affected by the mutated Omigran.
The Netherlands has announced that 14 passengers from South Africa have been infected with Omicron this weekend. Dutch officials said on Tuesday that the mutation was spreading across the country on November 19, a week before South Africa announced its discovery.
France announced the discovery of the Omigran infection on Tuesday on the island of La Reunion, and recommended vaccinating children between the ages of 5 and 11 who are at risk of developing severe symptoms of the disease. The European Regulatory Commission approved this type of vaccine a few days ago.
In Germany, which is witnessing a widespread outbreak of the epidemic, the Constitutional Court on Tuesday ruled that the partial closure measures taken by the government since the outbreak were justified and proportionate, paving the way for further tightening of controls.
In Asia, three weeks after easing some restrictions, Japan on Tuesday banned “entry of all foreigners”. The government on Tuesday confirmed Omigran’s first case against a man returning from Namibia.
Also, Israel, which has confirmed that a traveler returning from Malawi is infected with Omigron, has banned foreigners from entering its borders since Sunday.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization called for “reasonable” measures to control the Omigron eruption.
“No need to rush”
The Omicron Delta has caused more concern than any other mutation since its appearance, which has been found to be more contagious than the previous Kovit-19 mutation.
In a speech to the White House on Monday, US President Joe Biden stressed that there was “no need to panic” about the spread of the new mutant Omicron, calling on Americans to get vaccinated or stimulant doses.
“There are reasons to worry about this new mutation, but there is no need to panic,” he said, adding that the new mutant will appear “sooner or later” in the country.
The country was also hit hardest by the Govt epidemic (nearly 780,000 deaths), and the United States reopened its borders to the world in early November, blocking the entry of travelers from eight African countries since Monday.
For their part, health ministers from a group of seven countries on Monday called for “urgent action” against this “highly contagious disorder.”
The World Health Organization considers the “probability of the spread of omigran in the world” to be “high”, and much of the information is still unknown: the severity of the infection, the effectiveness of vaccines against it, and the severity of symptoms.
But so far no deaths related to Omigran have been reported.
In South Africa, most new infections are linked to Omigran, and the government expects a rapid increase in the number of infections.
These reports suggest that the mutant has great potential for transmission, and is a reminder of the need for vaccination globally, which is the only way to provide global immune protection to control the epidemic, which is currently scarce in Africa. Vaccinated.
South Africa, which considers itself “punished” for revealing the existence of a new mutant, called on some African countries to “immediately and urgently” lift travel restrictions, considering it “unfortunate” to take such action.
Gabon has announced it will close its borders to travelers from eight African countries.
For his part, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Monday warned that Omicron could cast a shadow over the economy and inflation, stressing the “risks of a decline in employment and economic activity”.
China on Tuesday acknowledged that Omigron would make it harder to host the Winter Olympics (4-20 February 2022), but reaffirmed its confidence in the success of the event.
© 2021 AFP
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