WHO chief scientist urges people not to panic over Omicron - Reuters
Dec 03, 2021 1 min, 15 secs
GENEVA, Dec 3 (Reuters) - The World Health Organization's (WHO) chief scientist on Friday urged people not to panic over the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant and said it was too early to say if vaccines would be need to be reworked.

Soumya Swaminathan said it was impossible to predict if Omicron would become the dominant strain.

Swaminathan said Omicron "was highly transmissible" and cited data from South Africa showing the number of cases doubling daily?

Much remains unknown about Omicron, which has been detected in more than two dozen countries as parts of Europe grapple with a wave of infections of the more familiar Delta variant.

but it's too early to conclude about the variant as a whole," Swaminathan said.

WHO's emergencies director, Mike Ryan, said there was no evidence to support a change in vaccines to tailor them to Omicron.

Ugur Sahin, CEO of Germany's BioNTech (22UAy.DE), which makes a COVID vaccine with Pfizer (PFE.N), told the Reuters Next conference the company should be able to adapt the shots relatively quickly.

"We're going to fight this variant with science and speed, not chaos and confusion," President Joe Biden said.

"At present, given the new Omicron COVID variant has only been detected quite recently, there could be particular advantages in waiting to see more evidence on its possible effects on public health outcomes and hence on the economy," Saunders said in a speech


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