Omicron Covid-19 variant was first detected in South Africa. It is found to be much more transmissible and virulent than the Delta variant which has already caused havoc in many countries across the globe. The latest Omicron variant is also declared a Variant of Concern by WHO which means that the people need to take full spectrum protective measures since it may be able to skip or confuse or evade the immunity response of the body.
Will it escape vaccine-induced immunity?
There is little information on whether it will be able to beat the immunity induced due to vaccination. However, experts around the globe still vouch by the efficacy and effectiveness of vaccination in preventing serious illness caused due to any variant of Covid-19, not just Omicron. The real problem lies with those segments of population which are not fully vaccinated.
The experts opine that even though Omicron has been detected in people who are fully vaccinated, their symptoms are not serious which highlights that vaccines have been working well.
Since effectiveness of vaccines against this mutant virus is not known and the tests are underway for the same, it is time for the people to take up other protective measures as well and go with the Covid-appropriate behavior.
Keep Wearing Masks
People have been happy to get rid of the masks after getting fully vaccinated. However, with the emergence of this new variant, it is again being highly recommended by health experts to once again start following the Covid-appropriate behavior. Three key pillars of this behavior are-
- Wearing face masks which are effective in filtering out the virus
- Social distancing
- Keep washing hand with soap or keep using sanitizers.
The first one among these measures deserves attention here. Among all the different types of masks available in the market, be it surgical, cotton or N95 masks, it is the latter which are actually most effective in preventing Covid-19 from entering our respiratory system. An n95 mask comes with multiple layers of spun bound and melt blown fabric which prevent the virus from entering our body.
Experts have again placed their bet on the use of face masks as the second most effective protective measure against Omicron after vaccination. However, its importance increases further since there is no widespread study on effectiveness of vaccines against this variant. So, till the time this effectiveness is established for sure, it is always a good idea to keep wearing masks in public places, while traveling or when in close contact with someone who is immune-compromised already.