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Could COVID-19 vaccines still work against Omicron variant? Updated: 2021-11-29 17:18:31 KST

Top health officials across the world are keeping a close eye on the new COVID-19 variant"Omicron."
The World Health Organization warned a couple of genetic mutations could make this variant spread more quickly potentially among the unvaccinated.
In the Omicron variant more than twice the number of mutations are seen on its spike protein than in the Delta variant.
BUT in terms of immune escape will the current COVID-19 vaccines still work against Omicron?

"When we develop vaccines, we look at the whole virus itself, then create the form of antibodies that can work on them. My prediction is that the vaccine will still work for Covid mutants."

He added that in about two weeks top health officials will be able to figure out how dangerous the Omicron variant is and how quickly the new variant can spread.
Other experts said the best defense against the new variant is to step up our game in giving out booster shots especially to those in vulnerable groups.

"I think this is a warning call for all countries to try to get vulnerable groups to get vaccinated as quickly as possible and deliver boosters as quickly as possible. There may be some waning vaccine immunity."

Pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Moderna are already monitoring the new variant hoping to develop updated versions of their vaccines within two to three months.
Despite the eased social distancing imposed in South Korea could strengthened social distancing be needed?

"Exactly, We had strict distancing measures for so long, so we decided to ease it. But it couldn't stop the spread of Delta. If the Omicron is much stronger than the Delta, strengthening the measures again is our only option."

"Currently there haven't been any Omicron cases reported in South Korea, but one expert says strictly following prevention measures now could be the best preparation for the worst case scenario. Choi Won-jong, Arirang News."
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