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India

Updated on: Friday, December 17, 2021, 05:13 PM IST

No evidence to suggest that existing vaccines aren't effective against Omicron variant: Health Ministry

Covaxin vaccine  | Photo: Representative Image

Covaxin vaccine | Photo: Representative Image

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The Union Health Ministry on Friday said there is no evidence to suggest that the existing COVID-19 vaccines are not effective against the new Omicron variant.

"There is no evidence to suggest that vaccines are not effective against Omicron variant of coronavirus," said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry.

He said the country has so far reported 101 Omicron cases across 11 states, with Mararashtra and Delhi leading with 32 and 22 respectively.

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This comes after the WHO (World Health Organization) recently said preliminary evidence indicates that COVID-19 vaccines may be less effective against infection and transmission linked to the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The WHO, in its weekly epidemiological update, had said that more data was needed to better understand the extent to which Omicron may evade immunity derived from either vaccines or previous infection.

The new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.

On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as 'Omicron'. The WHO has classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern'.

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Published on: Friday, December 17, 2021, 05:13 PM IST
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