Omicron poses 'very high' global risk, countries must prepare--WHO | Inquirer News
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Omicron poses ‘very high’ global risk, countries must prepare–WHO

/ 04:24 PM November 29, 2021
omicron variant

A vial and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed stock graph and words “Omicron SARS-CoV-2” in this illustration taken, November 27, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/file photo

GENEVA — The Omicron variant is likely to spread internationally, posing a “very high” global risk where COVID-19 surges could have “severe consequences” in some areas, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

The U.N. agency, in technical advice to its 194 member states, urged them to accelerate vaccination of high-priority groups and to “ensure mitigation plans are in place” to maintain essential health services.

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“Omicron has an unprecedented number of spike mutations, some of which are concerning for their potential impact on the trajectory of the pandemic,” the WHO said. “The overall global risk related to the new variant of concern Omicron is assessed as very high.”

READ: What is known so far about new COVID-19 variant Omicron

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Further research is needed to better understand Omicron’s potential to escape protection against immunity induced by vaccines and previous infections, it said, adding that more data was expected in coming weeks.

“COVID -19 cases and infections are expected in vaccinated persons, albeit in a small and predictable proportion,” it added.

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