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New Omicron subvariant may cause fresh wave: WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan

Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), warns that some countries may see another wave of infections due to the XBB subvariant of Omicron. Nevertheless, Dr. Swaminathan clarified that there is no country data to suggest that the new variants are more clinically severe. Among over 300 subvariants of Omicron, the XBB subvariant is of most concern right now as it is a recombinant virus, making it very immune-evasive, which means it can overcome the antibodies – explains Dr. Swaminathan.

During her speech at the DCVMN 23rd AGM, Dr. Swaminathan states that increasing data is coming out on how COVID affects all organ systems and not just the respiratory route – “So we have seen the risk of diabetes doubling, we have seen the risk of heart attacks…and other neurocognitive problems.”

Furthermore, Dr. Swaminathan called for the encouragement of the public to take the third dose, as the full vaccination schedule is of three doses.

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