WHO’s European Office addresses fact sheet on Omicron variant

The World Health Organization's (WHO) Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen has produced a fact sheet addressing "speculation, assumptions, and disinformation being propagated concerning the Omicron Covid-19 variant." The newest epidemiological data from the WHO reveal a dramatic rise in Covid-19 infection rates in Europe, mostly owing to the dissemination of the new variant, according to reports.

There were about one million new Covid-19 cases every week in September 2021. This number has risen to seven million by the first week of January 2022.

One of the most destructive "myths" identified in the fact sheet is that "Omicron only causes moderate sickness." While the Omicron variant may appear to produce fewer hospitalizations and be less severe than the Delta variant, the publication also warns that "it should not be considered as moderate."

"Vaccination, particularly among vulnerable groups, has contributed to a lower rate of hospitalizations and deaths so far. Many more people would be in hospitals if immunizations were not available." Vaccines also provide "the best possible protection" against Omicron, according to the report.

The data sheet stated that vaccination, like the other versions still in circulation, is "anticipated to give significant protection against severe sickness and death caused by Omicron."

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