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Studies suggest that Omicron has the benefit of reinfection as rich countries promote vaccine boosters and Africa demands the first injection.

Johannesburg — As data on the actual infection in South Africa, Omicron variant of coronavirus Initial identification suggests that the mutant virus is more capable of reinfecting people already infected with COVID-19, and the new strain also highlights global pandemic response inequality. increase.

Research Published as a preprint on ThursdayIs still awaiting peer review, but Omicron has found that people who are already infected with COVID are at least 2.4 times more likely to be re-infected compared to other variants being studied. ..

This study does not provide new information on how effective current vaccines are likely to be against Omicron, or how serious the disease is generally for those who catch it. .. That data is still at least a week away.

However, in another study conducted in the United Kingdom, booster shots of all major vaccines used significantly increase both antibodies that help avoid infection and the body’s “T cell” response. I found out. Limit the severity of the infection.Researchers expect the number and type of mutations found in Omicron, so it may prove essential. Vaccine may be less effectiveTo some extent, by preventing infection.

“This T-cell response gives us hope,” said Professor Saul Faust, who led the trial announced Thursday. Lancet, Said Times newspaper. “T cell response [the original variant], Beta and Delta are very similar. And I hope you can see something similar in Omicron. Our hope as scientists is that hospitalization and protection against death remain intact. “

“The data clearly show why it’s so important to get a booster. Top-up jabs greatly enhance protection against viruses,” said the UK government’s chief health official. Vaccination is more important than ever because of the potential threat of variants. “


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But the call is Response from U.S. authorities As the best way for a country to prepare for the expected spread of Omicron, it is only possible due to the huge vaccine supply available to wealthy countries.

As CBS News correspondent Debora Patta reports, many countries are far from offering booster shots. The emergence and rapid spread of Omicron in South Africa has injected this variant into the center of the global debate over vaccine inequality.

In the turf war between Omicron and the previously discovered delta mutant, a new strain has clearly won in South Africa, explaining the rapid increase in new infections.

Scientists warned us

Since the beginning of the pandemic, health professionals around the world have consistently screamed for war, warning: No one is safe until everyone is safe.. Allowing the virus to spread and continue to mutate in unvaccinated populations anywhere on the planet gives the virus the opportunity to evolve into more dangerous variants. So far, only about 7% of Africa’s total population has been fully vaccinated.

“We got to where we are now after politics, not science. If we did anything scientific, we would have done what scientists said in January 2020. Then we wouldn’t be where we are now. “Dr. Ayoade Arakiya, Co-Chair of the African Union’s African Vaccine Delivery Alliance, told CBS News.

According to Alakija, science tells us that the virus will continue to mutate unless there is global vaccine fairness.


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Vaccine supply is declining rapidly in the two countries where Omicron was first identified. According to Alakija, Botswana already controls 86% of its supply and South Africa uses 78% of its jabs.

Compare it to a wealthy country. There, 100 million vaccinations are likely to expire on the shelves.

For Arakiya, the problem is clear. Wealthy countries are storing vaccines.

“Many people in the United States and the United Kingdom think we’re all here reaching out, as you know.” Oh, please, give me a vaccine for free. ” increase. No. We say, “Get out of the line so that you can take the lead in the line and get yours and pay them.” “

Side effects of travel ban

But supply is not the only problem.Distribution, as in many African countries, complicates the matter. Lack of logistic functionality To put a shot in people’s arms. And a travel ban raft imposed on South African countries, including the United States, shortly after South African scientists warned the world that a new variant had further isolated the region.

To Arakiya and many others on the continent, travel bans are not only unproductive, they also look deep. Unfairness..


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Monica Glass in California was visiting her husband’s family in South Africa when the flight was cancelled.

“South Africa is the only place they have planted these travel bans, right?” She told CBS News. “I just feel it’s unfair. It’s not right.”

And she was hit another. A fully vaccinated glass tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently quarantined in Cape Town while waiting to arrange a new trip to return home.

“I have mild symptoms,” she told Patta. “I’m a nurse, so I work in a COVID unit. I was around COVID. As far as I know, this is the first infection I got with COVID.”

Her immediate concern is how to return to the homes of the three children when the infection subsides.

Travel bans not only cause confusion for individual travelers, but also complicate the work of South African scientists racing to help the world better understand the new Omicron variants. I am doing it. South Africa may run out of compounds needed to study new strains.


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Studies suggest that Omicron has the benefit of reinfection as rich countries promote vaccine boosters and Africa demands the first injection.

Source link Studies suggest that Omicron has the benefit of reinfection as rich countries promote vaccine boosters and Africa demands the first injection.

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