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Thursday, January 27, 2022

It’s likely that we will have to co-exist with Delta & Omicron variants: Experts

Dr T Jacob John, former director of ICMR’s Centre of Advanced Research in Virology, also stressed on vaccinating children quickly to minimise virus transmission and risk of emergence of new variants by mutations.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: January 14, 2022 7:30:41 am
Villagers wait to get themselves registered for Covid-19 tests Budgam area, southwest of Srinagar, in Kashmir. (Photo: AP)

Coronavirus is going to stay with us and it is likely that Omicron and Delta may co circulate, said Dr T Jacob John, former director of ICMR’s Centre of Advanced Research in Virology, retired professor and head of the Department of Clinical Virology and Microbiology at CMC Vellore, on Thursday.

He also stressed on vaccinating children quickly to minimise virus transmission and risk of emergence of new variants by mutations. “I am an advocate of child vaccinations with vaccines which are safe and effective. If children are left unvaccinated, they will act as virus reservoirs and we know that Omicron affects children readily. They must be vaccinated more quickly,” he said.

Dr John, along with other virologists and health experts, was speaking at an online discussion on ‘Variants, Vaccines and Us’ on Thursday. The experts underscored the importance of vaccinations for children, same shot booster doses and RT-PCR tests.

“It is unlikely that we will enter the pre-Covid era anytime soon. Instead, it is likely that we will have to co-exist with Delta and Omicron variants in the time to come,” said the experts.

Dr V Ravi, former professor of Neurovirology at NIMHANS and nodal officer for genomic confirmation of SARS-CoV-2, government of Karnataka, said that current data shows that Omicron is seen more in double vaccinated people. “So, it is in our interest that we don’t let our guard down.”

“Vaccines are our best bet as they minimise the severity of disease. So far, mild symptoms like a day’s fever with cold and cough are being treated. However, if we get something like Omicron in the future with the severity of Delta, then that is bad news…,” said Dr V Ramasubramanian, consultant, infectious diseases and tropical medicine, Apollo Hospitals.

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