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Oxford University said on Tuesday that there is no evidence that existing COVID-19 vaccines will not continue to protect against serious disease from the Omicron variant.

A spokesman for the University of Oxford told Granthshala News in an email: “Despite the introduction of new variants over the past year, vaccines have continued to provide very high levels of protection against serious disease and there is no evidence to date that Omicron Someone is different.” , “However, we have the necessary equipment and processes for rapid development of an updated COVID-19 vaccine if necessary.”

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The spokesperson also said that current data about the Omron variant is limited due to its recent discovery.

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

Oxford University said it was ready to develop a new version of its vaccine, developed with biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, if needed.

omicron version was already in the netherlands According to Dutch health officials, when South Africa alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) last week.

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However, it is unclear where or when the version first appeared.

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

Japan and France announced their first cases of the new version on Tuesday, last week and this week after several countries implemented travel restrictions 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 allow it to evade an immune-system response and increase its ability to spread from person to person. can help.

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