Amid the rising concerns over the spread of COVID-19 infections across the world, the WHO said that the Omicron variant that has been designated as a variant of concern on Nov. 26, has been traced in 89 countries across all six WHO regions as of Dec. 16
In an update, the WHO has said, Omicron is spreading fast in countries with high levels of population immunity, but it is unclear if this is due to the virus’ ability to evade immunity, its characteristic increased transmissibility or a combination of both.
The agency designated Omicron a variant of concern on Nov. 26, soon after it was first detected, and much is still not known about it, including the severity of the illness it causes.
“There are still limited data on the clinical severity of Omicron,” the WHO said.
“More data are needed to understand the severity profile and how severity is impacted by vaccination and pre-existing immunity.”
It added, “There are still limited available data, and no peer-reviewed evidence, on vaccine efficacy or effectiveness to date for Omicron”.