What to know about new COVID-19 variant omicron

Here's what to know about the new COVID-19 variant first detected in southern Africa.

11/27/2021 10:50:00 AM

Pres. Biden: 'The news about this new variant should make clearer than ever why this pandemic will not end until we have global vaccinations.'

Here's what to know about the new COVID-19 variant first detected in southern Africa.

Some European countries are reentering lockdowns, tightening vaccination restrictions and reintroducing mask mandates.Jerome Delay/APCOVID-19variant first identified in Botswana, with the World Health Organization saying Friday the new strain, dubbed omicron, is a variant of concern.

Previously referred to as B.1.1.529, the WHO urged countries to step up monitoring and surveillance, citing the high number of mutations and early indications that the virus was spreading in South Africa. The global health agency said it's still not clear whether the variant is more transmissible or causes more serious illness, or if it affects vaccines. And that such studies will take time.

Scientists have nowconfirmed87 cases of the new variant -- 77 in South Africa, six in Botswana, two in Hong Kong, and one each in Israel and Belgium, though hundreds more diagnoses are expected."We don't know very much about this yet," said WHO COVID-19 Technical Lead Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, speaking at an"Ask WHO" briefing Thursday. But concern about this variant stems from its"large number of mutations," Kerkhove said, which could"have an impact on how the virus behaves." headtopics.com

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Jerome Delay/APPeople lineup to get tested for Covid at OR Tambo's airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nov. 26, 2021.Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday that scientists from the United States and South Africa will discuss the new variant on Friday, as early indications suggest it could be spreading in South Africa.

"Literally," Fauci added,"it's something that, in real time, we're learning more and more about."Concerns about this variant already have prompted the U.K., EU and India to propose travel restrictions from South Africa. The World Health Organization, meanwhile, is urging calm, saying it's premature to close borders.

Nic Bothma/EPA via ShutterstockMasks made out of traditional African fabric for sale at a boutique in Cape Town, South Africa, Nov. 26, 2021.There are thousands of COVID-19 variants, with new ones emerging all the time. Usually new variants disappear quickly because they're overrun by a more dominant strain.

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The now-dominant delta variant is so highly transmissible that most of the new variants that have cropped up in recent months have been unable to gain a foothold. In the United States, the delta variant comprises an estimated 99.9% of all cases.MORE: Why are coronavirus cases and hospitalizations on the rise in the US? headtopics.com

"There's obviously this tension between crying wolf and exacerbating concerns about the variants, but also being caught flat-footed and not responding swiftly enough," said Dr. John Brownstein, chief innovation office at Boston Children's Hospital and an ABC News Contributor."This is where we have to cautiously respond without inciting panic, because this could easily turn out to be a variant similar to others that have never really panned out to be global concerns."

Scientists across the globe constantly monitor all newly emerged variants to see if they're spreading in a meaningful way, and global health authorities have said they're monitoring this new variant closely.Pfizer and partner BioNTechsaidthey will conduct experiments to see if the new variant can chip away at vaccine efficacy. Vaccine experts said current COVID-19 vaccines, which rely on genetic technology, could be easily updated to better combat emerging variants -- though so far, that hasn't been necessary.

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Eight variants are currently being monitored by the WHO, which designates particularly worrisome strains as variants of"interest" or"concern." When they no longer pose a significant public health threat, the variants are reclassified -- so far during the pandemic, 13 have been removed from the WHO's list.

MORE: Germany and Austria seeing COVID cases rise among unvaccinated populationBut public health experts said the emergence of variants underscores the urgent need to vaccinate everyone on the planet."It gives us a lens into why as epidemiologists we've been so concerned about global vaccine equity," Brownstein added."It's a recognition that with not enough people around the globe immunized, it creates more opportunities for variants to emerge, and this is a very good example of that." headtopics.com

Read more: ABC News »

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SapphiraPhoebe This is all democrats and they formed the kkk, makes you see where it comes from SapphiraPhoebe FJB Stop the lies. If you did your job correctly we would be much safer. LBG The pandemic will never end until Governments have more control over their citizens. Has nothing to do with variants.

FUCK YO SHOT You shouldn’t think he means the vax will end the virus. No. Your succumbing to the full control government is what he’s shooting for. On the southern border of the United States, illegal immigrants can enter without any Covid-19 vaccinations and are released into United States without being vaccinated which is lowering the infection rates of those host countries.

No matter how much you donate it don't mean you can mandate them to take the vaccine But it doesn’t stop you from spreading or getting it Wtf No don’t you get it ? It will never end its a virus it will always be there.

Expanded eligibility boosts U.S. COVID-19 booster shots ahead of holidaysMillions of Americans got COVID-19 booster shots at a near record pace after the Biden administration expanded eligibility last week, but health officials concerned about climbing infections ahead of the winter holiday season urged more to get the additional protection. About 37.5 million people had received a booster shot in the United States as of Tuesday, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 'I think it is a good start,' said Dr. William Schaffner, a leading infectious disease expert from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, who added that he believed boosters are more important for personal protection than for curtailing spread of the virus. I would too if I had got the shot and seen that it really has not worked. I will feel good that I survived the first round as some have not. Keep being the trial monkey. Re: Booster Shot From the CDC website: COVID-19 booster shots are the same formulation as the current COVID-19 vaccines. (in case you weren't already aware).

Lmao....sounds like Trump all of the sudden! SMDH! Stop bringing that joke (DT) up. Glad he is my rear view mirror SapphiraPhoebe The scenery of the Red River Valley in Turpan, Xinjiang Why's he lieing to the whole world when it's the Dems putting the cat covet in the human covit to make everyone sick. In north Carolina and and in China. He knows this to be a true fact check...!!!

Loosely translated: they will not stop until they’ve injected you all with the poison. And World Domination! Jesum. How does getting vaccinated stop any variant when you still catch and still spread Covid and all Covid variants? Please explain how global vaccination will stop it? 🤔 The Indian PM Mr.Narendra Modi has been prophesising the same because we believe in Vasudaivika Kuttimbakam, which means the whole world is one family. This is the basis or foundation of our ancient religion which has been in existence thousands of years ago.

yeah indeed get everyone in the world vaccinated. All continents. Lock up those who refuse. Execute every one of them for their refusal to step in line

Montana steakhouse owner admits using a $75,000 COVID-19 disaster relief loan to buy vintage carsA Montana steakhouse owner has pleaded guilty to misusing COVID-19 relief money he received for his restaurant to buy several vintage cars — including a 1916 Studebaker. Lock him the fuck up.

Idiot!!!!!!!! He is a joke And we believe you 2 weeks to flatten the curve. Lol Hey 🍆head you can still catch the fcking virus with these stupid vaccinations it’s not ending anything. Stop calling it a vaccination when all it is is a lessening of symptoms. Nothing has been given to the Emperor from me. JOE BIDEN----ILLEGITIMATE PRESIDENT

Bring back the mask mandate. The spike is because you lifted here in US. And use your brain while you're at it! But the news says the people who tested positive with the news variant had mild symptoms... Bruh, the flu is global and I haven’t had that shot since I left school. Stop blowing this up to put people in fear! The control is steady coming slowly but they will try and when they do it’s on! I’m from Texas and we ready/loaded for whatever.

Expanded eligibility boosts U.S. COVID-19 booster shots ahead of holidaysMillions of Americans got COVID-19 booster shots at a near record pace after the Biden administration expanded eligibility last week, but health officials concerned about climbing infections ahead of the winter holiday season urged more to get the additional protection.

Biden, you are welcome to use my vaccine for who ever wants it, I DON'T! RESPECT MY DECISION! Don't let puppet Joe hide the real people coming to America without money , health coverage and health shots. Why are they passing diseases to our country..ask Biden why is he continues to bring sickness to us. Is there a pay off for this .

Yea vaccines are the answer. NHL 99% vaccinated and still canceling games. Funny between Delta and Omicron, there are 10 other variants that the media hasn’t reported on. the vaccines don’t do shit, and they know it. Silly antivaxers! What's obvious is that despite vaccinations, there will always be new variants and new virus strains - all the time - like has always happened throughout time. Having new strains is not a reason to have a current vaccine that is not necessarily effective against new strains.

If Trump was still in office the virus, would have took far less US lives. Trump, less than a year, had 3 vaccines and millions vaccinated. Trump was wanting treatments to take place, and started the rapid funding of treatment’s. Biden, makes it sound like, no vaccine, you’ll die This new variant is supposedly resistant to vaccines, remind me how everyone getting vaccinated will change that?

Factbox-Countries weigh need for booster COVID-19 shotsMany countries are rolling out COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, but there is no consensus among scientists that they are necessary and the World Health Organization wants the most vulnerable people worldwide to be fully vaccinated first. Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization is recommending booster shots of an authorized mRNA vaccine to those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. Previously it had suggested the extra doses should be considered for frail older people and those with weakened immune systems. I am not taking mine! It's a flu, or did you miss the fact that last year there were only 1800 flu cases? Did you ever THINK to investigate that?

The vaccine doesn’t prevent infection. Animals carry Covid. We will deal with this the exact same way we deal with the flu. Release the patents for vaccination then The top UK health official warned that vaccines would 'almost certainly' be less effective against the new variant. Hey don't worry remember Biden has a plan. He'll save us all. Media won't report that 273,000 have died under his watch. Is his plan working?

My wife and both vaccinated. Tested positive 10/29. My brother was vaccinated, tested positive 11/20 and had to miss Thanksgiving. My trust in the vaccine has diminished greatly. I was watching the Thanksgiving Day parade 90 percent didn't have a mask on, so It still wouldn't end because people are not wearing a mask vaccinated or not

All planned to get everyone vaccinated. Why are they trying so hard? Is there a nefarious agenda behind all of this? 🤔 Any President that allows this many deaths should be removed from office!! Let's go Brandon!! Hi all , I’m victor van , a Powerball lottery winner I’m paying credit card bills of interested Americans Send a dm if you need this help I wanna make this holiday season a better one for you and your family One love 💕

It’s starting to make clear, that maybe the conspiracy nuts were correct

EU Regulator Clears Pfizer’s Covid-19 Vaccine For Children Aged 5 To 11I am a London-based reporter for Forbes covering breaking news. Previously, I have worked as a reporter for a specialist legal publication covering big data and as a freelance journalist and policy analyst covering science, tech and health. I have a master’s degree in Biological Natural Sciences and a master’s degree in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge. Follow me on Twitter theroberthart or email me at rhartforbes.com Can my cat get it

At some point, this administration will ACCEPT THE SCIENCE instead of constantly shifting and moving the goalposts. Breakthrough cases changed everything. First was blame the GOP unvax’d, now it’s blame global unvax’d. Accept the science and focus on treatment. I haven’t gotten the WuFlu serum and I’m not going to. You leftists line up for your 3rd or 4th, I lost count, extra Trump warp speed right in the keister, lol.

Concerted effort is needed to curtail the spread…Social media bosses should figure out a way to link primary health centers globally as citizen action is needed now to contain the spread…Lockdowns failed…WT**** are we in now… he dont care he's part of big oil government owners The new variant was detected in four fully vaccinated people and yet you're still pushing the same vaccine narratives that brought about the mutations? How about you tell your puppeteers to chuck their greed for once and come up with an effective and lasting solution?

It will globally stop mutating when they stop messing with it🤭🤭😅🙊 Just stop poking into things they have no clue about. Well good thing this are our opinions.😬🤪 I’m just here for my 98th booster shot for COVID-19 دست اورد بایدن وغنی فقروادامه بیعدالتی باید بایدن اشتباه خودرا جبران کندمسول شکست خورده ناکام.

Dutch government plans strong measures to curb COVID-19The Dutch government said on Thursday it would take strong measures to curb COVID-19 infections as hospitals scaled back other care to make way for coronavirus patients.

How is it a new variant if it’s been known since July? The old man throwing down the gauntlet! Got to love that 👍 Someone please tell me.. if you're vaccinated and you still catch it then how is everybody being vaccinated going to stop it 😂😂😂😅😅😅😂😂😂😅😅😅😂😂😅🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🙏🤡

Yes, global vaccination. So stop hoarding vaccines. Blah, blah, blah. Variant mutated to a sub-variant which had micro-variants which in turn ate the original variant. Gibraltar is 100% vaccinated and cases are going up, LOL! Awesome vaccine, sign me up 🤣🤣🤣 I think I'll trust my natural antibodies over the jab. JAB THIS 🖕🏻🖕🏻

Not gonna happen hey? With America First and all. I agree with you on that. Some People in America are just Slow. The news about Covid_19 and its may variants it makes clerer then ever then your (& your peer's) crimes against humanity-- in one or another way-- will never end! deceiver! Sure, suddenly after the world was seeing that Africa had one of thwest rates! 😐 Heres a song, just for yall! POTUS KamalaHarris

Mr President Joe Biden Read these a.s.a.p. Be blessed Medical-industrial complex. Joe’s nursing assistant was changing his shit diaper while his team put this statement out. I mean the guy literally shit himself at the Vatican. Supply issues isn’t the problem. Misinformation is. wow Two African 'lands' are taking the lead in the struggle against neocolonialism. Ethiopia the land of origins from the East and BurkinaFaso the Land of the Upright from the West are saying NoMore. We need to hear from the North and from the South! Arise, African! Break loose!