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Explained: What has CDC said about Omicron’s transmissibility, vaccine efficacy, treatment

At this point, CDC says it remains unknown if Omicron spreads more easily than the Delta, which is the dominant Covid-19 variant found across the globe.

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: December 7, 2021 8:25:21 am
CDC has said that the current vaccines are “expected” to protect against severe illness, hospitalisations and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. (AP/File)

More information is expected to emerge in the coming days on transmissibility, severe infection and the performance of the Covid-19 vaccine with respect to Omicron. The United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has come out with facts on what is known so far about the Omicron variant of Covid-19 — which has now been detected in several countries in the world.

What has the CDC said about the transmissibility of the Omicron?

At this point, CDC says it remains unknown if Omicron spreads more easily than the Delta, which is the dominant Covid-19 variant found across the globe. “The Omicron variant likely will spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and how easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown,” it has said.

However, it has highlighted that it expects that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.

Is Omicron causing more severe Covid-19?

Again, CDC has said that more data is required to establish if Omicron infection, especially reinfections and breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated, causes more severe illness or death compared to infection caused by other variants.

Are the current vaccines effective against the Omicron?

CDC has said its scientists are currently investigating Omicron — including how protected fully vaccinated people will be against infection, hospitalization, and death. However, it has been highlighted that the breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people — is likely to occur.

Second, it has said that the current vaccines are “expected” to protect against severe illness, hospitalisations and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant.

“With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. The recent emergence of Omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters,” the CDC said.

Will the current treatment work against Omicron?

CDC says its scientists are working to determine how effectively the existing treatments for Covid-19 work against Omicron. “Based on the changed genetic make-up of Omicron, some treatments are likely to remain effective while others may be less effective,” the CDC has said.

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