The new Omicron variant of the coronavirus is unlikely to exceed the Delta variant in scale and severity of the consequences. This opinion was expressed by infectious disease specialist Andrew Pollard (UK), who participated in the development of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
In a comment to the BBC Radio, he noted that he doubts the ability of the Omicron variant to cause a new pandemic. According to him, due to this new variant, the global wave of coronavirus, which is similar to the one caused by the Delta variant, is unlikely because many people are vaccinated.
It is extremely unlikely that a pandemic of such scale will start among the vaccinated population on the same scale as last year, the researcher said.
Pollard also doubts that the Omicron variant will replace the dominant Delta variant today. According to him, mutations typical of the Omicron have occurred in those parts of the coronavirus protein that have already undergone changes in coronavirus variants. After the appearance of the Delta variant, which is now widely known, the Alpha, Beta and Gamma variants were discovered. But these Delta rivals, despite their seemingly initial danger due to their mutations, have not been able to provoke infection at the pandemic level.
At the same time, the scientist added, in a few weeks it will be possible to speak more confidently about the new capabilities of the Omicron variant, and then it will be clear whether the effective vaccines available today can provide protection in case of contracting this variant, too.