Covid 19 is here to stay.

Omicron is another example of how Covid19 is here to stay.

Omicron is another example of how Covid19 is here to stay. Viruses are constantly mutating.  The emergence of the newly identified coronavirus variant, Omicron, feels like a pandemic gut check. Scientists have long known that the world would see variants of the coronavirus emerge. Viruses are constantly changing. 

On Thursday when the Health Minister announced the discovery of the B.529 variant, which appears to be spreading rapidly in some parts of the country, it was the strongest indication the pandemic is not over. Travels from South Africa and surrounding African countries have been banned by several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, hours following the announcement. President Joe Biden on Friday announced travel restrictions that will give the US federal government more time to investigate the new variant named Omicron that has emerged in South Africa, officials say. 

At some point, the variant will be seen in the United States but the restrictions will give the US and other global counterparts time to learn about the new variant. Now, based on the current surveillance, officials believe that the variant is not yet in the US. 

Officials acted fast to enforce new restrictions. Several weeks ago the emergence of the variant was flagged, but it was only recently that they discovered how serious it was.

US officers are anticipated to talk to scientists in South Africa again probably on Sunday. With the developing concern, The World Health Organization swiftly convened a group of advisers and classed the B.1.1.529 strain a “variant of concern,” giving it the Greek name Omicron. Countries were urged by WHO to intensify their surveillance and sequencing efforts to better understand coronavirus variants.

What is known so far about the Omicron variant?

Vaccine makers had been fast to recognise the variation as a concern. Moderna stated the Omicron variation represents a ‘significant potential risk’ to its Covid-19 vaccine.

Modena said on Friday in anews that “The recently described Omicron variant includes mutations seen in the Delta variant that are believed to increase transmissibility and mutations seen in the Beta and Delta variants that are believed to promote immune escape. 

The combination of mutations represents a significant potential risk to accelerate the waning of natural and vaccine-induced immunity.” Global health officials are urging people to wear masks, avoid crowded places, and those not vaccinated to get vaccinated while scientists are working fast to learn more about the new variant. 

Is Covid19 here to stay?

Even if the pandemic draws to an end and the coronavirus becomes endemic, it could have a constant presence but not affect an alarmingly large population. There is a great possibility that new variants will continue to emerge. There will never be a time when there is no COVID threat as the virus becomes endemic. While there’s hope as to what the future may hold, the makers of the Covid19 vaccines have said they are ready to update their coronavirus vaccines to target new, emerging variants. 

Scientists at BioNTech have already started studying the impact of the Omicron variant on its vaccine developed by Pfizer, with data expected in the next couple of weeks.

In response to the emergence of the Omicron variant, Johnson and Johnson said in a company statement on Friday in response to the emergence of the Omicron Variant: We are closely monitoring newly emerging COVID-19 virus strains with variations in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and are already testing the effectiveness of our vaccine against the new and rapidly spreading variant first detected in southern Africa.” 

Vaccine maker, AstraZeneca, is trying to understand the impact of the Omicron variant on its coronavirus vaccine and is also testing its antibody combination therapy against the new variant, a spokesperson said on Friday. ” AstraZeneca is also already conducting research in locations where the variant has been identified, namely in Botswana and Eswatini, that will enable us to collect real-world data of Vaxzevria against this new virus variant,” they said. The company’s antibody treatment, AZD7442, is also being tested against the variant and 

AstraZeneca says it is “hopeful AZD7442 will retain efficacy since it comprises two potent antibodies with different and complementary activities against the virus”

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