The detection in France of the Omicron variant of the virus that can give Covid-19 is "very probably a matter of hours", said Sunday the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran.

"To date, there has not yet been an identification of this type of variant on the national territory, but it is very probably a question of hours", declared the minister at the end of a visit. in a Parisian vaccination center.

"As soon as it circulates in Great Britain, Italy, Belgium, it is likely that there are already cases in circulation" on French territory, he added.

Since it was detected in South Africa during the week, the new Omicron variant has been identified in Europe in the three countries mentioned by Olivier Véran as well as in Germany and the Czech Republic.

To detect the presence of Omicron in France, in addition to screening, "we carry out between 6,000 and 12,000 sequencing per week", assured the Minister of Health.

However, the emergence of the new variant should not lead to a further strengthening of health restrictions "in the short or medium term".

“At the time of writing, whether or not there are one or two or ten cases of people infected with this variant in circulation in Europe, or even in France, does not impact the profile of the epidemic wave that we know.

It is a wave which is already linked to a very contagious variant, the Delta variant, ”argued the Minister.

Asked about the effectiveness of current vaccines against Omicron, Mr. Véran judged that it was "too early" to comment.

The minister also took advantage of his visit to the vaccination center of the town hall of the 18th arrondissement to indicate that "over the last two days, 700,000" people had been injected with a booster dose.

“Half of them” resorted to city medicine to have it administered.

"I hope that we can arrive or come very close to the 10 million French people who have received their recall by the end of this week," the minister said.

Sunday, the number of beneficiaries of a booster dose had reached "about seven million".

  • Omicron variant

  • Olivier Véran

  • Vaccination

  • Health

  • Covid 19

  • Coronavirus

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