WorldWhy some think that the arrival of omicron may...

Why some think that the arrival of omicron may be the end of the global health crisis

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The rushing arrival of the omicron variant to the chaotic landscape of covid-19 It makes you dream again about the prospect of herd immunity, but experts warn that it is still too early to draw conclusions.

French Health Minister Olivier Veran dared to declare this weekend that “This fifth wave could be the last”, because of the blazing speed with which it is expanding omicron, a highly contagious and less-dangerous mutation of the coronavirus.

An optimistic scenario, according to Alain Fischer, responsible for the vaccination campaign in France. “Perhaps we are witnessing a beginning of evolution towards a more banal virus, like many others that we already know”, stated on Monday.

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Natural immunity, together with the effect of vaccines, would cause the entry into a much less severe phase of the global pandemic.

“There is hope”, indicates the epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet. “The Sars-CoV-2 could join the other coronavirus humans that cause colds and angina every winter ”, Explain.

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“We are not close yet. We can foresee that new variants will appear, but our immunity will be strengthened over time, either by natural infection or with booster doses of the vaccine ”, indicates.

But Before this, “a high number of infections in the population” will foreseeably occur.said the director of the Israeli Ministry of Health, Nachman Ash on Sunday.

New variant?

The risks to overburdened healthcare systems are high. Although more benign, the impact of omicron is yet to be determined. And if there are new variants, herd immunity may be clouded by more deaths.

“I still hope that the virus will eventually look like the others coronavirus from the cold, maybe in the next two years “, indicates Julian Tang, virologist and professor at the University of Leicester, quoted by the British organization Science Media Center.

“If we want to begin to learn the lessons of the recent past of this pandemic, the first thing to remember is that it is very unpredictable”epidemiologist Antoine Flahault explained to AFP.

In his opinion, the concept of herd immunity is “purely theoretical”.

“It seems that immunity from vaccines protects effectively against severe forms of the disease, but not all those vaccinated equally”, Explain.

“Naturally acquired immunity appears to also provide a kind of protection, particularly against severe forms, although nothing is entirely clear”, Add.

Flahault, who currently heads the Institute for Global Health in Geneva, believes that all possibilities remain open, including a larger-than-anticipated impact from the omicron variant, or simply the emergence of new mutations.

“I am convinced that it will not be the last wave” Eric Caumes, former head of the infectious diseases service at La Pitié Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, estimated on Sunday. “But perhaps it will be the last with this intensity ”, indicates.

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