There are several cases of Omicron in the UK, so vaccination is still “expected” to work.
Positive Omicron cases are being ordered to stay away from their close contacts for ten days. Over the weekend, emergency measures were announced that allowed people to travel, even if they were vaccinated.
Nottingham and Essex were found to be the first areas to be infected with a new coronavirus variant.
According to Dr Jenny Harries, executive director of the UK Health Security Agency, it was “very likely” that more cases of Omicron would be found in the upcoming days.
What about the Omicron variant? Will the COVID-19 vaccines still be effective? These are the views of Government officials and health experts.
Edward Argar, the health minister, said there is “no proof yet that the vaccine does not work” against the Omicron virus.
“Under the current situations, it is not necessary at this time, since there is no evidence yet that the vaccine is ineffective.” Edward Argar speaks on Today on BBC Radio 4
In the meantime, Professor Greg Towers of University College London’s Division of Infection and Immunity confirmed that many experts predict that the existing Coronavirus vaccine will still be effective against Omicron.
In an interview with Times Radio, he said: “Vaccines are expected to work still, but is whether they will work as well or less so?
“Therefore, the vaccine will still work, and there is no reason why it should not work.
There is a discussion within vaccine companies about whether a new vaccine should be developed based on the Omicron spike protein, which can be done relatively quickly if it proves less effective.”
Confirmed UK Omicron Variant Cases
Here are the areas where are the first confirmed cases of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19, which are Greater Glasgow and Clyde Lanarkshire, Nottingham, and Chelmsford Westminster.
Professor Towers asked whether Omicron might produce milder illness, responded: “There haven’t been enough cases for us to be certain but I think it might not be as pathogenic as it used to be.”.
“Regarding the prior variant, Alpha and Delta are considered being marginally more pathogenic. We are trying to keep these viruses under control.”
The deputy chair of the JCVI, Professor Anthony Harnden, said that if Omicron “proved to be transmittable, a new vaccine would make sense.”
He continued: “The mRNA vaccines, such as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, are relatively easy to change, and the pharmaceutical companies that produce them have stated that they may get a variant vaccine within 100 days.”
Are Booster Jabs Effective Against The Omicron Variant?
The Covid booster vaccination will be provided to millions of adults in the UK. Government advisors are considering extending the jab to all adults to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant.
The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunization expanded the program and cut the gap before a third dose can be administered as early as Monday, November 29.
In the latest coronavirus briefing from the Scottish Government, Nicola Sturgeon said vaccination remains the “most important line of defence.”
If JCVI issues a future update, the Scottish Government is prepared to implement it about booster shots.
First Minister Sturgeon added: “We will get all doses of the vaccine as soon as possible for the new variant.”