The COVID-19 omicron variant continues to concern scientists and public health officials. On Sunday, the World Health Organization warned its member states that “the likelihood of potential further spread of omicron at the global level is high.” They rated the overall risk from the variant as “very high.”
Why the risk? The omicron variant has a number of mutations to its spike protein that may make it more transmissible and give it the potential to evade immunity gained from vaccination or previous infection, as SELF previously reported. Experts are working quickly to understand whether these mutations do, in fact, make the variant easier to spread, and how much effectiveness current vaccines maintain against it.