Omicron Variant

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A new Coronavirus ‘variant of concern’ was discovered last week - it’s been named Omicron.

  • On 22 November, South African scientists discovered a new variant of the Sars-Cov-2 virus, which has a high infection rate. The virus has so far spread to many parts of the world including Europe.
  • According to the World Health Organisation, the Omicron variant posed “an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other (variants of concern).”
  • No sooner had South African researchers announced the discovery of this variant of concern, than the UK, EU, US announced flight bans for South Africa and eight other nations.
  • There is no data yet regarding where the virus variant originated, even though South African scientists were the first to discover it. Global North response though has been appalling, say experts.
  • Only 7.5% of people in low income countries have received at least one dose, as compared to over 70% in the US who have received both doses, says WHO.
  • Of the 7.9 billion doses administered as of last month, only around 537 million were shipped to 144 nations via COVAX's global vaccine-sharing program.
  • This read list not only explains what caused the rise of this new variant but how vaccine nationalism is ultimately responsible for it.
Articles from 5 publishers

5 articles on this topic


New Covid variant: How worried should we be?

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3 min read

Vaccine inequity and hesitancy made the Omicron variant more likely, scientists say

4 min read

South Africa says it's being "punished" for detecting new COVID variant

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1 min read
The Conversation

Travel bans aren't the answer to stopping new COVID variant Omicron

4 min read

How variants like omicron develop and what makes them variants 'of concern'

4 min read