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Data available so far has shown that the Omicron variant of coronavirus is milder when compared to Delta but is more resistant to the Covid-19 vaccines, said a senior doctor from the Medanta Hospital. 

“Delta variant had a higher incidence involving the lungs and causing oxygen problems. Until now, the data shows that Omicron is more infectious than Delta but also milder as compared to it," news agency ANI quoted senior surgeon Dr Arvind Kumar as saying.

He said that the number of Covid-19 cases is increasing and people are getting serious diseases but the number of ICU admissions, oxygen requirements and death is not as frantic and psychologically daunting as it was in the second wave. 

However, he also informed that Omicron shows “higher vaccine unresponsiveness and vaccine failure." 

This comes days after the World Health Organization said the existing vaccines may need to be updated to ensure they are effective against new variants like Omicron.

"...the composition of current Covid-19 vaccines may need to be updated, to ensure that Covid-19 vaccines continue to provide WHO-recommended levels of protection against infection and disease by VOCs, including Omicron and future variants," said the WHO technical advisory group. 

The body said it will consider a change in vaccine composition to ensure vaccines protect against severe disease.

"Covid-19 vaccines need to...elicit immune responses that are broad, strong, and long-lasting in order to reduce the need for successive booster doses," it added.

"A vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable."

The global health body has also said that the Omcron variant is a "dangerous virus" particularly for those who are unvaccinated. 

"While Omicron causes less severe disease than Delta, it remains a dangerous virus, particularly for those who are unvaccinated," said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Meanwhile, India crossed a grim milestone as the country's Omicron tally reached the 5,000-mark on Thursday as per the morning update by the Union ministry of health and family welfare.

 

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