How effective are Covid vaccines, current tests and treatments against the Omicron variant? WHO explains

Vaccination Centre. (Pic credit: Stu Norton)Vaccination Centre. (Pic credit: Stu Norton)
Vaccination Centre. (Pic credit: Stu Norton)
The World Health Organisation (WHO) explains how effective Covid vaccines, current tests and treatments are for Omicron.

Primary research shows that there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron compared to other variants of concern; people who have previously tested positive for Covid-19 could become re-infected more easily with the new variant.

However, information is limited and will become available in the coming days and weeks.

How effective are the Covid vaccines against Omicron?

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WHO is currently working with technical partners to fully get to grips with the potential impact of this new variant on its current prevention methods including the vaccines.

Vaccines remain crucial for decreasing the risk of severe disease and death, including against the dominant circulating variant, Delta, and they remain effective against severe disease and death of other variants.

How effective are current Covid tests?

The broadly utilised PCR tests continue to identify infection, including the Omicron variant, as WHO has seen with other strains as well.

Studies are still underway to find out whether there is any impact on other types of tests, including rapid antigen detection tests.

How effective are current treatments?

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Corticosteroids and IL6 Receptor Blockers remain effective for managing patients with severe Covid-19 symptoms.

Other treatments will be tested to see if they are still as effective due to the changes to parts of the virus strain of the Omicron variant.

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