The CEO of the pharmaceutical company Modern yesterday triggered the alarms in financial markets by warning that existing COVID-19 vaccines would be less effective against the Omicron variant than they have been against Delta.
Major European stock markets were down about 1.5%, the Tokyo Nikkei index closed 1.6% lower and crude oil futures lost more than 3%, as comments from Stephane bancel sparked fears that the pandemic would last even longer.
“I don’t think there is a world in which (effectiveness) is at the same level (…) that we had with the Delta variant“, said Bancel to the Financial Times newspaper.
Bancel it had previously said that it could take months to start delivering a vaccine designed for the new variant.
Scientists and also the who have said it could take weeks to understand if Omicron causes serious illness or escapes the protection of immunizations.
In addition, yesterday it was reported that the synthesis antibodies of Regeneron they may be less effective against the Omicron variant, said the company, which plans to conduct tests to determine exactly how much.
“Previous in vitro analyzes, and modeling of individual mutations present in the Omicron variant, indicate that there may be a reduction in the neutralizing activity of immunity provided by vaccines and monoclonal antibodies, including current antibodies REGEN-COV“said the company.
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The World Health Organization He advised against traveling to people at risk, but estimated that the travel bans imposed by the countries “will not prevent” the spread of the variant.
Faced with the fears raised by the new strain, the director of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called for “calm” and urged member states to “rational” and “proportional” response.
By Reuters and AFP