COVID Vaccines Likely To Be Less Effective Against Omicron: Moderna CEO Warns
"There is no world, I think, where (the effectiveness) is the same level . . . we had with Delta," Bancel said.
CEO of vaccine-maker Moderna on Tuesday, 30 November, raised alarm bells as he declared a possibility of COVID-19 vaccines being less effective against the Omicron variant of the virus than they were against the Delta version.
According to Reuters, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel, on Tuesday, said:
"There is no world, I think, where (the effectiveness) is the same level . . . we had with Delta.”
"I think it's going to be a material drop,” Bancel added, even as he pointed out that he does not know “how much because we need to wait for the data.”
“But all the scientists I've talked to . . . are like 'this is not going to be good’.”Moderna CEO Bancel
The New 'Variant of Concern'
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had on Monday warned that omicron, the new COVID-19 variant, poses a "very high risk" to the world, further emphasising that the lack of information surrounding the contagiousness of the variant makes it even more necessary to take precautions.
"Based on the evidence presented indicative of a detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology... the WHO has designated B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern (VOC), named Omicron," according to a statement put out by the WHO.
As pointed out by Reuters, the WHO has urged countries to use a "risk-based approach to adjust international travel measures".
Meanwhile, as the new variant and the global curbs it has triggered, amplify concerns about vaccine inequality, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement:
"The people of Africa cannot be blamed for the immorally low level of vaccinations available in Africa - and they should not be penalized for identifying and sharing crucial science and health information with the world.”
A recent Lancet study reported on Monday that Astra Zeneca's Covishield vaccine had remained effective against moderate-to-severe COVID-19 even during the deadly surge which was dominated by the highly transmissible delta variant of COVID-19.
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