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UK panics over Omicron while hoarding vaccine

Bianca Rahimi
Press TV, London

Several countries have banned travel from South Africa after a new Covid-19 variant was found in the country. In the UK, scientists say they are bracing for hundreds of Omicron cases in the coming weeks.

The US, Israel, Canada and some European countries are all offering boosters – and this is causing outrage worldwide.

Rich nations have been hoarding, buying hundreds of millions of Covid-19 vaccines – many times the number they need. They have promised to share, but they haven’t, leaving 3.5 billion people waiting for their first dose.

As many as 85 percent of people in lower-middle-income countries haven’t had a single jab. Evolutionary biologists say this is a recipe for disaster.

Omicron emerged in South Africa where only 35 percent of the population is vaccinated. And the WHO has warned it poses “a very high risk.”

But we will have to wait for the hard facts. It will take weeks for us to know exactly what Omicron entails. Will it be resistant to vaccines? What will the symptoms be? And will it spread faster? On a positive note, if it is more transmissible, it means the virus is evolving and its symptoms might be much milder. We just don’t know. So yet again Christmas is at stake and for poor nations, many more lives.

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