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University of Oxford on omicron: No proof COVID-19 vaccines won't prevent against severe disease

The world-regions said Tuesday there was no evidence that current infectious-disease infectious-disease would not continue to protect against infectious-disease” target=”_blank”>severe disease<

The institution pledged to carefully evaluate the implications of the emergency of the variant for vaccine immunity. 

Oxford University said it was ready to produce a new version of its vaccine – developed with healthy-living company AstraZeneca – if needed.

Passengers get a COVID-19 test at a Testing Centre at Heathrow Airport in London, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. 

Passengers get a COVID-19 test at a Testing Centre at Heathrow Airport in London, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. 
(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

The omicron variant was already in the Netherlands when south-africa” target=”_blank”>South Africa< about it last week, according to world-regions health authorities.

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However, it remains unclear where or when the variant first emerged. 

In fact, not much is known about the variant, although the agency warned that the global risk from the variant is “very high” and early evidence suggests it could be more contagious.

world-regions and world-regions announced their first cases of the new variant on Tuesday, following moves last week and this week by many countries to implement travel restrictionsa> that have been discouraged by South Africa and the WHO.<

The WHO said there are “considerable uncertainties” about the variant, but noted that preliminary evidence raises the possibility that it has mutations that could help it both evade an immune-system response and boost its ability to spread from one person to another.

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Doctors in South Africa are reporting patients are suffering mostly mild symptoms so far, although most of the new cases are people in their 20s and 30s, who generally do not get as sick from COVID-19 as older patients.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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