WHO director on COVID-19: ‘We are not there yet. But the end is in sight’
The possibility of future waves still exists — the new omicron variant BA.4.6 that recently emerged already accounts for over 9% of reported cases
On Wednesday, the director of the World Health Organization said that the world was better equipped to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are not there yet. But the end is in sight,” Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, per Reuters.
The possibility of future waves still exists. The new omicron variant BA.4.6 that recently emerged already accounts for over 9% of reported cases, as it gains momentum over the current dominant subvariant BA.5.
“We expect there to be future waves of infections, potentially at different time points throughout the world caused by different subvariants of omicron or even different variants of concern,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s senior epidemiologist, per the report.
Although the comments made by Tedros were the most optimistic since the pandemic first began, there is work still to be done.
New booster shots offer protection against omicron
Two COVID-19 booster shots manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech are now available for anyone 18 and up. These vaccines fight against the original COVID-19 strain as well as omicron subvariants like BA.4 and BA.5, which are responsible for a majority of the reported cases.
According to LiveScience, it's unclear how much protection these booster shots can offer as they haven’t been tested on people yet.
“This is similar to the annual flu shot, whose level of effectiveness only becomes clear as flu season progresses,” the report added.
“They can help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination and were designed to provide broader protection against newer variants,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a press release by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What are the top omicron symptoms to look out for?
The most common omicron-related symptoms are:
- Runny nose.