New Delhi: Even before people could recover from COVID waves, World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that a new mutant of the Omicron variant could be most transmissible.
The new COVID mutant ‘XE’ is a hybrid strain of two Omicron subvariants. WHO stated that studies show XE’s growth rate is 10 percent as compared to BA.2. The Omicron variant comprises four lineages including B.1.1.529, BA.1, BA.2, and BA.3.
Earlier, WHO said it is continuing to monitor the global spread of Omicron, including a “stealth” version known as BA.2, which has been documented to have re-infected some people after an initial case of omicron.
There’s mixed research on whether it causes more severe disease, but vaccines appear just as effective against it.
An expert group convened by the WHO said it “strongly supports urgent and broad access” to booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine amid the global spread of Omicron.
In a statement, WHO said its expert group concluded that immunization with authorized COVID-19 vaccines provide high levels of protection against severe disease and death amid the continuing spread of the hugely contagious omicron variant. WHO eased back on its earlier position in January by saying boosters were recommended once countries had adequate supplies and after protecting their most vulnerable.
It said vaccination, including the use of boosters, was especially important for people at risk of severe disease.