Ómicron Was Already In Europe Before South Africa Raised The Alert

Ómicron was already in Europe before South Africa raised the alert

The new omicron variant was already circulating in Europe before South Africa alerted the world last Thursday, November 25. After that alarm, Europe began to suspend its flights with seven countries in southern Africa. But the variant was already on the mainland, although Botswana has stated that, in its case, the variant had been in the country since at least November 11 when it was detected in foreign diplomats leaving the country.

The Netherlands has reported that 14 people have tested positive for the omicron variant after arriving from South Africa on Friday, and they were thought to be the first cases of the variant detected there. But the dutch health department has now reported that the variant has been detected in two tests on November 19 and November 23. What the National Institute of Public Health (RIVM) has not said is whether the people had visited southern Africa or had contact with someone who had.

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Scott Gottlieb MD, a former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration and a member of Pfizer’s board of directors, has stated that omicron “could have been around for quite some time.” The expert has stated on NBC: “Did it start in early November or has it been circulating for two or three months, which is a clear possibility?”

In this sense, British trackers from the county of Essex are investigating the contacts of one of the first cases in the United Kingdom of the omicron variant with a fork of nine days, which raises questions about how long the new variant has been in the country.

The county has asked customers, staff, and delivery drivers of a KFC franchise in Brentwood to test: those who were at the restaurant on Nov. 19 and those who attended Trinity Church in Pilgrims Hatch two days later, on Nov. 21. November.

On Saturday 27, British Health Minister Sajid Javid announced the detection of the first two cases of the variant that was initially identified in South Africa.

As published by The Guardian, there are indications that the Brentwood case is related to another infected person from Nottingham, and that person is believed to have arrived from South Africa before coming into contact with the person in Essex.

Between three and four months. It is the time that the process can take until a new, more precise vaccine adapted to the omicron variant is put into circulation. This was stated by the director of the European Medicines Agency, Emer Cooke, in his appearance before the European Parliament’s Health Committee.

“Part of the work of the laboratories is to evaluate the cross-neutralization of the vaccine, which takes about two weeks,” explained the director of the EMA: “That is, the laboratory tests the vaccine to see if protect against the new variant, although the sequencing is very different. The other thing that you have to spend some time on is analyzing the context, since the European situation is different from South Africa, because we have a significant number of adults already vaccinated, and we are with the booster doses … There is a range of circumstances that may influence the expansion of the omicron variant in Europe. We do not know yet, but we are working with HERA, WHO and companies to understand the situation”.

“At the same time,” Cooke continues, “we have to prepare for the case of needing to change existing vaccines, and it is a job that companies will do. Companies are going to try to adapt to the new sequences and then they will have to show that the production system is working, and doing clinical trials to see whether or not vaccines work in practice, and how the manufacturing process will have to be modified. companies and regulators to be prepared. “

“We think that we could find ourselves in a situation in which the existing vaccines have to be changed, and that it is necessary to have them approved in between three and four months,” Cooke said to questions from the socialist MEP Nicolás González Casares.

In any case, Cooke has insisted on the steps: “First you have to decide if this is necessary or not, you have to take into account the epidemiological situation and the situation of current vaccines against the new variant. First you have to make that decision. And then the rest would come. It’s something we’ve prepared ourselves for. “

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