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Vaccines and prior Infections likely Prevent Severe Omicron Disease

The Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus evades COVID-19 vaccines better than the delta variant. The study done by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, Statistics Denmark and Statens Serum Institute found the variant is spreading fast because it is evading the immunity created by vaccines.Plenty of research suggests that the variant causes fewer severe COVID-19 symptoms among the vaccinated. In fact, vaccinated individuals often suffer mild COVID-19 symptoms from the Omicron variant.

The study, which has not been peer-reviewed, looked into 12,000 COVID-19 patients in Denmark, finding that the Omicron variant is 2.7 to 3.7 times more infectious than the delta variant. This study is a clue as to why the Omicron variant is spreading so fast. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House medical adviser for the coronavirus, told ABC News this week that the Omicron variant is spreading faster than previous variants, too.

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genome harbors a single-stranded, positive-strand ribonucleic acid genome (ssRNA (+) genome). This ssRNA (+) genome is between 26-32 kilobases (kb) in size, with high fidelity replication due to a 3′-to-5′ exoribonuclease ‘proof-reading’ mechanism.

Since its original emergence in December 2019, the SARS-CoV-2 genome has continued to evolve and exhibit quasi-species diversity as it adapts to its human host. While most of the thousands of mutations identified in the SARS-CoV-2 genome, to date, are not significant functional changes, they have proven etiologically valuable.

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