Will the Omicron variant dominate in France? This is a question many people have in mind as the variant spotted for the first time in South Africa is spreading, urging countries to instate more border restrictions.
On Wednesday December 1, 2021, Gabriel Attal announced flights with southern Africa are to resume from December 4, 2021, but are subject to “extremely strict and radical supervision”.
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This Thursday morning, a first case of Omicron variant has been found in Île-de-France. The regional health agency said the entourage of the patient has been tested and placed into self-isolation.
“The Omicron variant is the variant we feared”, Jean-François Delfraissy acknowledged this December 2 on BFMTV/RMC. “This is the variant that has mutations especially in the Spike protein, which is the protein that is used to make the virus stick to the receiver, and its is the zone of the virus at which vaccines are aiming”, the Head of the Scientific Committee explained.
Yet, Pr. Jean-François Delfraissy reminded the priority was to fight against the Delta variant. “Do not mistake fights: the real fight, the real enemy is the 5th wave and the Delta variant”, he said.
He thinks the Omicron variant “will take a while before settling in France and generally in Europe”. According to the Scientific Committee’s projections, the new variant could settle in France “rather in early 2022 or late January 2022”. But “it gives us enough time to be prepared. And the response to the fifth wave is the response to Omicron, it is the same: the vaccine booster shot”, Delfraissy affirmed.
The question is whether the Omicron variant is resisting the current vaccines available and if this new variant is likely to lead to severe disease.