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Omicron variant: the first signals are "a little encouraging", says Dr Anthony Fauci


Referring to the Omicron variant, the White House adviser said on Sunday that he did not appear to present "a high degree of severity.

A first hope in the face of global concern?

The first "signals" from South Africa regarding the severity of cases linked to the Omicron variant are "a little encouraging," said Dr Anthony Fauci, White House adviser on the health crisis, on Sunday.

The latter, however, warned that for the time being, this was only preliminary data.

"Clearly, in South Africa, Omicron is transmitted more," he said in an interview on CNN, referring to the "vertical" curve of the number of new cases in this country.

“But so far, even though it's too early to draw any firm conclusions, it doesn't look like it has a high degree of seriousness,” he said.

"So far, the signs regarding gravity are a little encouraging," he repeated.

Read alsoVariant Omicron: in South Africa, the "extraordinary" explosion of the epidemic

However, medical experts have stressed in recent days that the demographics of South Africa's population are particularly young, and that severe cases can be expected in the coming weeks. Laboratory studies are underway to determine if and to what extent this new variant could be more transmissible, able to resist the immunity induced by a first infection or a vaccine, or to cause more serious cases.

"I think there is a real risk that we will see a decline in the effectiveness of vaccines," Stephen Hoge, president of Moderna, said on ABC Sunday, echoing previous statements by the CEO of the company. , Stéphane Bancel.

“What I don't know is how big,” he said.

"Will it be like what we saw with Delta, against which the vaccines have remained effective?"

Or will we see an efficiency drop of around 50%, which would mean that we have to update them?

He asked himself.

Series restrictions to curb the variant

Moderna, like other pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, has already started work to adapt their vaccine if necessary.

Omicron is now confirmed in at least 15 US states, and some 40 countries around the world, after being first detected in South Africa.

The United States has for a week closed its border to that country and seven others in southern Africa.

As the variant continues to spread around the world, more and more countries (Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, etc.) have decided to tighten their restrictions in an attempt to save the end of year celebrations.

For its part, France does not rule out announcing in turn new measures while a Health Defense Council is being held this Monday.

Source: leparis

All life articles on 2021-12-05

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