Both bad and good news: what scientists now know about Omicron
It will take much study, but what’s clear is Covid-19 will keep spreading and mutating while people remain unvaxxed
As fears of another global surge of Covid-19 cases send jitters through global markets, spur a new round of travel bans and cause people to rethink their holiday plans, scientists studying the Omicron variant are getting the first hints of what’s in store for the months to come.
The new variant’s mutations suggest it is likely to evade the protections of vaccines to at least some extent, but is unlikely to cause more severe illness.
These early hypotheses appear in line with real-world observations from places such as SA, where infections have included the vaccinated and previously ill, but so far appear largely mild. These data, however, are thus far extremely limited, so much current evidence has come from computer modelling and comparing Omicron’s physical structure to past variants...