MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) – The caller Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been confirmed successful astatine slightest 14 countries prompting caller fears of different COVID question arsenic President Joe Biden’s prohibition connected question from South Africa and 7 different confederate African countries goes into effect Monday. Restrictions person besides been renewed for question from confederate Africa to galore European countries.
There person been nary confirmed cases successful the United States yet, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s apical infectious illness expert, said it mightiness already beryllium here. He said Monday it is “inevitable” that it volition marque its mode into the country.
Canada’s wellness curate said that country’s archetypal 2 cases of Omicron were recovered successful Ontario aft 2 individuals who had precocious traveled from Nigeria tested positive.
President Biden is urging Americans to get vaccinated, including booster shots, arsenic helium seeks to quell concerns implicit the recently identified Omicron variant.
Dr. Fauci says determination is nary crushed to panic.
“We should not beryllium freaking out. We should beryllium doing the things that we cognize enactment erstwhile you’re dealing with a pandemic virus.”
The World Health Organization says it could inactive instrumentality immoderate clip to get a afloat representation of the menace posed by Omicron, designated arsenic a variant of concern. The U.N. wellness bureau issued a connection Sunday that boiled down to “We don’t cognize overmuch yet.”
It contains much than 30 mutations to the spike protein, prompting concerns from immoderate scientists it could beryllium vaccine-resistant.
Multiple studies are presently underway. While scientists accidental determination is crushed to beryllium acrophobic implicit the variant, they accent determination is inactive a batch we don’t cognize — including whether the variant is so much contagious, whether it causes much terrible illness oregon what its effects connected vaccine efficacy whitethorn be.
In a Friday quality release, Moderna said it was rapidly moving to trial the quality of its vaccine to neutralize the variant and information is expected successful the coming weeks.
The strain includes mutations “seen successful the Delta variant that are believed to summation transmissibility and mutations seen successful the Beta and Delta variants that are believed to beforehand immune escape,” Moderna said. “The operation of mutations represents a important imaginable hazard to accelerate the waning of earthy and vaccine-induced immunity.”
If its existent vaccine and booster are insufficient against the variant, 1 imaginable solution is boosting radical with a larger dose, which Moderna said it is testing. The institution is besides evaluating 2 multivalent booster candidates to spot if they supply amended extortion against Omicron — some of which see immoderate of the viral mutations contiguous successful the variant.
Moderna said it is besides investigating an Omicron-specific booster.
“For respective days, we person been moving arsenic accelerated arsenic imaginable to execute our strategy to code this variant,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said successful the quality release.
AstraZeneca besides said it was looking to recognize the interaction Omicron has connected its vaccine, which is not presently authorized for usage successful the US.
“AstraZeneca is besides already conducting probe successful locations wherever the variant has been identified, namely successful Botswana and Eswatini, that volition alteration america to cod existent satellite information of Vaxzevria against this caller microorganism variant,” a spokesperson for the institution said Friday.
The institution besides said it is investigating its antibody treatment, AZD7442, against the variant. AstraZeneca asked the US Food and Drug Administration successful October to authorize exigency usage of the treatment.
Scientists astatine BioNTech, the German institution that partnered with Pfizer to marque its COVID-19 vaccine, are besides investigating the interaction of the variant connected their shot, with information expected wrong the adjacent mates of weeks.
A Johnson & Johnson spokesperson said successful a connection the institution was besides investigating the effectiveness of its vaccine against Omicron.
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