A medical official predicted a sixth wave of Corona in this country, what is it?

And what's the reason?

And is Omicron more ferocious than Delta?

Are two doses of vaccines enough to fight Omicron?

Why is a booster dose necessary?

The answers are in this comprehensive report.

Medical official: France will be exposed to a sixth wave of Covid in January

We start with France, where a hospital executive said that the country will be exposed to a sixth wave of Covid-19 next month due to the emergence of the new mutated virus - known as Omicron - that is most contagious, while the country is still in the midst of the fifth wave of the pandemic caused by the Delta strain. , according to Reuters.

"We haven't said a word about the sixth wave, which is Omicron, which will come later in January," Martin Hirsch, director of the APHB hospital group in Paris, the largest hospital network in Europe, told RTL radio.

Experts fear that Omicron will threaten new waves in countries around the world, and not only in France.

In the United Kingdom, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned last Sunday that the country would face a "massive wave" of the mutated Omicron strain of the Corona virus, saying that "two doses of the vaccine will not be sufficient to contain this strain."

For his part, Richard Neher, head of the research group for the evolution of viruses and bacteria at the University of Basel, said that the Omicron strain will become the most prevalent strain of the Corona virus in Europe during the next month, surpassing other strains such as Delta, according to the German news agency.

"At the moment, the Omicron strain is still rare in Europe," Neyher said - in an article published on the University of Basel website - on Monday.

"But if development continues in this way, the Omicron strain will become the most widespread in Europe within two to four weeks."

Data from Denmark and Britain indicate that the number of Omicron infections doubles every 3 or 4 days.

The prevalence of the Omicron strain is 3 times that of the Delta strain, due to the fact that it affects both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

However, vaccinated people - especially those who received booster doses - are protected from serious diseases caused by the Omicron strain, according to the expert.

Nehir added that inequality in the global distribution of vaccines must be addressed as soon as possible.

Two doses of vaccines are not enough to fight the omicron mutant

We move to Britain, where scientists have concluded that a two-dose vaccination regimen to prevent Covid-19 does not lead to the production of sufficient antibodies to fight the mutated Omicron, which is likely to increase infections among those who have previously contracted the disease or were vaccinated with vaccines.

On Monday, researchers from Oxford University published - according to Reuters - the results of a study that has not yet received peer reviews from scientists in which they analyzed blood samples from participants in a large study to examine the possibility of mixing vaccines from those who had previously received doses of the “AstraZeneca-Oxford” vaccines. (AstraZeneca- Oxford) and Pfizer-BioNTech.

The results of the study come a day after the warning issued by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, when he said that two doses of the vaccine would not be enough to suppress the mutant Omicron.

The study said that there is no evidence so far that a low level of infection-fighting antibodies may lead to an increased risk of severe symptoms, hospitalization or death for those who received two doses of approved vaccines.

"This data is important, but it is only part of the picture," said Matthew Snape, a professor at Oxford University who was involved in the study.

A booster dose is necessary

With the emergence of the omicron mutant, the need for boosters of vaccines has become even more urgent, writes Hannah Devlin in The Guardian.

And mutations in the new mutator of the virus mean that some of its proteins now look completely different from the original strain of the Corona virus that first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and that all current vaccines are designed to target.

This, in turn, means that the antibodies created by the body - as a result of previous infection with the virus or vaccination - will be less effective in protecting against infection with the omicron mutant.

Because those antibodies stick to the virus less strongly, more antibodies are also needed to compensate for their mismatching with the new mutant's proteins.

Studies indicate that the boosted dose of the vaccine increases the level of antibodies in the body significantly above the level seen after receiving only two doses of vaccines, which gives some hope that the weakening of immunity will occur more slowly after a third dose, knowing that it is still early days. Make sure of it.

The data from laboratory experiments are encouraging, but the real results that the world is following closely are those of what is happening in South Africa, the United Kingdom and elsewhere to answer an important question regarding the fate of this wave of outbreaks of the new mutant.

Vaccine makers are currently working on different vaccines that could be ready for distribution by March, but modifying existing vaccines would lead to the same vulnerabilities if another rapidly spreading variant overwhelms Omicron in the future.

Scientists hope that the next generation of vaccines against the Corona virus will not only be effective against circulating strains of the virus, but will provide much broader immune protection so that it is effective against mutations as well.

One potential candidate is a vaccine designed specifically to stimulate the "T-cell response" to the replication machinery used by the virus rather than the skeletal protein, which scientists believe could provide immunity that lasts for several years rather than a few months.

Does the omicron mutant herald a turning point in the COVID-19 pandemic?

This is what Pauline Frauer of the newspaper "le figaro" tried to answer, saying that reliable information about this mutant is still scarce, although it is spreading remarkably quickly if we take into account the usual time for scientific research.

And the writer quotes, in this regard, from Professor Vincent Calvez, Head of the Department of Virology at the Petit-Salpetriere and Saint Antoine hospitals, “It seems that the infection started stronger and faster, as if the virus was very adaptable to humans, but this is logical as it is in line with what we know from RNA viruses that have the ability to evolve very quickly.”

Another notable thing that South Africans noticed was that the Omicron breed was much faster than its Delta competitor.

And the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control concluded - based on mathematical models - that Omicron is expected to be responsible for half of Covid-19 cases in Europe "in the coming months".

On the transmissibility of Omicron, Vincent Calvez says: "You can assume that it is high, but is it faster than Delta? That is the question, but we cannot assume that its contagion is slower than Delta."

Is Omicron more ferocious than Delta?

"We still lack data, and the answer will come from clinical observations in South Africa," says Professor Yazdan Yazdanbana, Head of the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at Bisha Claude Bernard Hospital.

At this point, the signals from Gauteng in South Africa seem quite favourable, as a report by Dr. Farid Abdullah from Tshwane Hospital - near the epicenter of the epidemic - indicates that patients who have been hospitalized due to the Covid-19 virus or have been confirmed to be infected are less susceptible Much more needed for oxygen or assistance with breathing compared to the same period in previous waves.

Their hospital stay is also shorter.

But he cautioned against excessive enthusiasm;

This can be interpreted, among other things, as due to the fact that 80% of patients in the hospital in Chuan are under 50 years old.

Omicron winter wave is coming fast

Data from South Africa and Europe indicates that Omicron is spreading very quickly and infecting vaccinated people, writes Caitlin Owens in Axios, under the headline "Omicron's winter wave is coming fast."

The writer said that if the pace of the outbreak of the newest strain of the Corona virus continues in this way, this means that many people - all over the world and in the United States - are on the verge of getting sick as a result of infection with the new mutant, even if it is just simple symptoms.

According to the researchers’ estimates, it takes only two or three days for the number of people infected with Omicron to double, which means that it spreads at an astonishing speed.

WHO: Omicron poses a major global threat

On Sunday, the World Health Organization said that Omicron poses a "significant global risk" with some evidence that it is resistant to vaccines, but clinical data on its severity is still limited, according to Reuters.

The organization said in a technical briefing that a great state of uncertainty surrounds Omicron, which was first detected last month in South Africa and Hong Kong, and whose mutation may lead to a faster spread of infection and a greater number of Covid-19 infections.

"The overall risk associated with the new mutant omicron remains very high for a number of reasons," she added, repeating her first assessment.

And she continued, "Second, the preliminary evidence indicates that it avoids immune responses and high rates of spread, which may cause another rise in cases with severe consequences," noting the virus's potential ability to resist the immunity provided by antibodies.

The organization pointed to preliminary evidence of an increase in the number of people who were infected with the virus in South Africa.

And she added that while preliminary data from South Africa shows that Omicron cases are less severe than those of the Delta strain, the infections in the world are currently dominant and all cases recorded in the Europe region were mild or asymptomatic, and it is still unclear to what extent it can Omicron to be less virulent.

"More data is needed to understand its severity," the organization said. "Even if it is less than delta, hospitalization rates are still expected to rise due to the increase in cases. The increased rate of hospitalizations places a burden on health systems and increases mortality."

She added that more information is expected in the coming weeks.