Thirteen cases of the omnichron mutation have been registered in the UK and nine in Scotland, Health Minister Sajid Javid said at a news conference on Tuesday.
– There’s a lot we don’t know about this viral mutation, but researchers are working day and night to find out more, says Javid.
He further said that the best thing to do was to set a third booster dose.
Javid says that the omnichron variant has given many memories of last year’s hard-crowned wave, but says the big advantage now is that we have a vaccine.
NHS chief Amanda Pritchard said they were doing everything they could to roll out a third dose to all Britons as soon as they reached millions of Britons. Among other things, they are considering removing the mandatory 15-minute waiting time after the vaccine is established.
– We are in the most complex phase of the vaccination program. The elderly and the sick will be prioritized, says Amanda Pritchard.
The University of Oxford said on Tuesday it could quickly update the AstraZeneca vaccine, if needed. It is the most widely used vaccine in the UK.
“Because the omicron variant is so new, there is very little data available,” an Oxford University spokesperson said.
– As with all other variants, we will evaluate the impact of this variant on vaccine immunity.
Earlier Tuesday, Moderna boss Stéphane Bancel stated that the vaccine provided poorer protection against omicron.
“I don’t know how much, because we have to wait for the data, but all the researchers I spoke to said that this is not going to be good,” Bancel told the Financial Times, according to Reuters news agency.
Other vaccine manufacturers have also stated that they are working hard to adapt coronary vaccines to the new omicron variant.