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Is it resistant to the vaccine and how can it be defended? Everything you need to know about the Omicron variant | Israel today


The new strain caused a stir due to its unique characteristics • Why does it worry us more? • When will we receive more details? • And what can vaccine companies do in case of special resistance? • The complete guide

The world in general and Israel in particular have been busy in recent days with the Omicron variant from South Africa, which has taken us back to provinces we already thought we had forgotten.

So how dangerous is the new variant, what is its prevalence in Israel at the moment and should we be concerned?

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Bennett on the Omicron variant: "We are in a time of fog" // Photo: Photo: Roi Avraham / GPO, Sound: Ben Peretz / GPO

What characterizes the Omicron variant?

The new variant contains a large number of more mutations, significantly, compared to previous variants.

What is particularly worrying about this variant?

The more mutations there are the more differences. We still do not know what the high variance of the new variant is, but the fact that it has spread relatively quickly in South Africa is worrying. In recent days all samples sampled in South Africa have been identified as the new variant, although it is important to note that the reference is only to the samples sampled and not to all the positive samples. Once there is a new variant that spreads quickly - of course there is a reason for increased alertness, and unfortunately this is not really the first time we come across a new variant. Some variants have spread rapidly in the population, and the obvious example is the Delta variant that is common all over the world right now. As soon as a new variant is discovered, a close monitoring of its presence in the population immediately begins. There were variants that worried at first but were pushed aside and we hardly see them, so it is impossible to predict as of today what the spread of the new variant will look like.

What is the chance that it is resistant to the vaccine?

It is currently not possible to determine.

It is true that in this variant the difference is greater, but we are too early to determine whether this difference is reflected in a decrease in the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Differences can manifest themselves on several levels: it can affect the severity of the disease, the rate and speed of infection and also the effectiveness of the vaccine.

But to know if one of these things is really true, we need more information.

We are currently in a very early stage, the variant was only detected a few weeks ago.

Dr. Nadav Sorek, Photo: Spokeswoman for the Assuta Ashdod Public Hospital

Could more information be accumulated to lower the level of concern?

of course. One of the things we already know is that the mutations do not affect the PCR tests, so we do identify the variant in our tests. This is excellent because it gives us the ability to identify patients with current tools. It is very important to remember that today there are tools and capabilities that in the past we could not even imagine. There are millions of PCR tests today that identify new patients and flooring capabilities that allow us to track and monitor new variants. The most important point: Vaccine-producing companies have the ability to adapt the vaccine to new variants, so even if a new variant appears to be spreading in the population, it can almost certainly be determined that there will be an effective vaccine against it.

A few cases were found in Israel. Is it possible to assume that the variant has already spread in the country?

I would not go so far as to say that the variant has already spread in the country, but there is certainly a reason for close monitoring of the positive subjects and determination of the variants, a matter that is routinely carried out should be noted. We have had past cases of other variants identified in the country, such as the South American variant, but ultimately failed to push the Delta strain. At the same time, the presence of the variant in the country should definitely remind us not to be complacent and continue to monitor and closely monitor the spread of the disease.

Should additional restrictions be imposed at Ben Gurion Airport?

This question concerns many aspects besides the medical, such as economic, political and social aspects. There is no doubt that there is a need for close supervision of those entering the country. Identified in the country came from Malawi and not from a country marked as a country where there is the variant should definitely remind us not to neglect the return of people from other countries.

Answers courtesy of Dr. Nadav Sorek, Director of the Laboratory of Microbiology and Outbreaks, Assuta Ashdod Public Hospital

Were we wrong?


If you find an error in the article, we will be happy for you to share with us and we will correct it

Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2021-11-27

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