“I think vaccines will protect us from Omicron as well.”


The omicron variant, first detected in South Africa, worries the world and experts about its rapid expansion. The truth is the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that this new lineage of SARS-CoV-2, which has some thirty mutations in the spike protein, may be more contagious, but it is still unknown if it can resist the vaccines that are currently available. However, in the opinion of head of the Epidemiology and Prevention section of the General Directorate of Public Health of the Canary Islands Health Service (SCS) and president of the Spanish Association of Vaccination (AEV), Amos García Rojas, the latter is unlikely. “Predictably, each mutation that arises tends to be more contagious, but that does not mean that it is more serious or that it is not sensitive to vaccines. In my opinion, I believe that vaccines will also protect us from this variant and, if they did not do so, they could adapt to this, “says the doctor.

But would this translate into the need to revaccinate the entire target population? The expert is blunt about it. “At least the most vulnerable population should be revaccinated. However, I find it very difficult for us to find ourselves in a scenario with these characteristics.

It should be noted that The Microbiology service of the Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid confirmed yesterday the first case of this strain in the national territory. As reported by the center, he is a traveler from South Africa who is in good condition. In addition, Catalonia registered two suspicious cases that are under study and that correspond to two travelers who came from the same country.

Portugal also joined this Monday to the list of nations that have patients suffering from the new variant of SARS-CoV-2. Other European countries that have already diagnosed symptoms linked to this strain are Belgium, Denmark, Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic.

«Ómicron is showing two clear situations. On the one hand, developed countries are managing between 70 and 75% of all available vaccines, which makes vaccination in developing countries, especially those on the African continent, a utopia. On the other hand, that this variant should place us in a situation of alert and not of alarm ”, determines Amós García, who does not hesitate to affirm that the new lineage of the virus will reach the Canary Islands. “A microorganism of these characteristics cannot be prevented from reaching our islands,” he points out.

Given this, the doctor calls for reflection to promote inoculation in less developed nations. “If we leave countries unvaccinated, the virus will continue to mutate and get stronger. In addition, demanding the same rights for all citizens is a matter of justice, “he claims.

It should be noted that the WHO warned this Monday that the risk posed globally by the omicron variant is “very high.” “Taking into account the high mutations of omicron, with the potential to be more resistant to immunization and more contagious, the risk that the variant will be transmitted worldwide is high”, reflects the Organization in a report on this new strain SARS-CoV-2. “There may be new waves of Covid-19 with serious consequences, depending on many factors, such as the place where these waves occur,” collects the same document.

Luis Serra calls for calm

The rector of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and spokesman for the Scientific Committee of Experts that advises the Government of the Canary Islands in the management of this health crisis, Luis Serra Majem, yesterday sent a message to reassure the university community about the circulation of the Omicron variant. «The university community has to know that we are going to adopt the most appropriate measures depending on how the pandemic evolves, in accordance with the recommendations of the Government of the Canary Islands, the Scientific Committee and the different levels of this University, starting with the Management. Today there are no reasons for alarm to think that this variant could be more serious, quite the opposite, and we do not even know if it will be resistant to vaccines, “he says. “Assuming that there could be a certain resistance to the vaccines of this new variant, they can be convinced that in a few weeks or months we will have the vaccines adapted to it,” adds the rector of the educational institution.

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