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WHO says Omicron is spreading faster than Delta, infecting the vaccinated

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Posted: Monday, December 20, 2021. 1:49 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The World Health Organization (WHO) said the COVID-19 Omicron variant is spreading faster than the Delta variant and is infecting people who have been already vaccinated or who have recovered from the disease.

“There is now consistent evidence that Omicron is spreading significantly faster than the Delta variant,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday at a press briefing at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“And it is more likely people vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 could be infected or re-infected.”

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said that boosters should be given to people who have weaker immune systems.

“We do not believe that all vaccines will become completely ineffective,” said Swaminathan.

Swaminathan warned that it’s too early to say that the Omicron variant is a milder strain. She said that the news coming out of South Africa gives that perception because they have high levels of existing immunity.

“It is probably unwise to sit back and think this is a mild variant, it’s not going to cause severe disease, because I think with the numbers going up all health systems are going to be under strain,” she said.

However, the WHO said that though the world is facing a new wave, it still hopes 2022 can be the year the pandemic come to an end.

Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergency expert, said at the press conference that they hope the disease becomes a relatively mild disease that is easily prevented and easily treated. He said that if we can keep the virus transmission to the minimum, the pandemic can be ended.

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