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No proof that existing vax not effective on Omicron: Govt

Protection against contagion comes by vaccines as well as by antibodies by cellular immunity, which is expected to be relatively better preserved.

SNS | New Delhi |

On 3rd wave possibility after Omicron detection in the country, the Centre on Friday said the severity of the disease is anticipated to be low in view of the fast pace of vaccination and herd immunity due to high exposure to Delta variant as evidenced by high seropositivity.

Though Omicron cases are increasingly being reported from countries outside of South Africa and are likely to spread to more countries, scientific evidence is still evolving,” the Health Ministry said.

But the scale and magnitude of rising in cases and most importantly the severity of disease that will be caused are still not clear, it said.

On the question of existing vaccine efficacy against this variant, the health ministry has said that so far there is no evidence to suggest that existing vaccines do not work on Omicron.

Some of the mutations reported on the Spike gene may decrease the efficacy of existing vaccines.

Protection against contagion comes by vaccines as well as by antibodies by cellular immunity, which is expected to be relatively better preserved.

“Hence vaccines are expected to still offer protection against severe disease, and vaccination with the available vaccines is crucial. If eligible, but not vaccinated, one should get vaccinated,” it added.

The response measures for all variants of concern, including Omicron, is the same as that for SARs CoV2, the ministry said.

It added that the precautions and steps to be taken remain the same as before.

“It is essential to mask yourself properly, take both doses of vaccines (if not yet vaccinated), maintain social distancing and maintain good ventilation to the maximum possible”, said the ministry in a statement.