South African scientists conclude that vaccines act against severe covid due to the omicron variant

The South African Genome Surveillance Network (NGS-SA) presented the preliminary progress of its study of the omicron variant to the Health Commission of the country’s Parliament on Wednesday afternoon. They still need time to adjust the data but, in what they already consider the beginning of the fourth wave of covid-19, they assured that they are concentrating on the transmissibility and the effect on immunity that vaccines provide. Richard Lessels, an expert in communicable diseases, said: “A large part of the population is getting immunity from vaccines or passing the disease, so it is difficult to say what the evolution will be. The genetics of the omicron is completely different from the delta or the previous variants ”. They also do not know if the incubation period remains on the average of five days that they had verified. But, Lessels said, they do have the certainty that “vaccines are the tool that can prevent the disease from being serious and requiring hospitalization.”
“We are concerned not so much with the number of mutations, but with where they are concentrated, because many of them do so in the peak protein, and specifically in key parts that are important in accessing our cells. We don’t know if the antibodies will be able to handle them, ”Lessels explained. He also pointed out that, although most of the positives of the new variant are overcoming it with mild symptoms, “it is too early to say how dangerous the omicron is, because it has been detected very recently.” “We do not know if we will see more serious cases or not,” he said.

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