Omicron At A Glance:
- Omicron cases in South Africa all mild.
- New vaccines already underway.
- Travel bans by Biden and European countries for African nations called “discriminitory.”
- Singapore to prohibit home recovery; cases must report to isolation with the National Centre for Infectious Disease.
While American’s gathered together to celebrate Thanksgiving, the WHO reported a Variant of Concern (VOC), omicron, in South Africa. The omicron variant was detected by physician, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association after several patients came in experiencing different, more mild symptoms than the previous covid variant cases she’d seen in her patients.
Little is known about the omicron variant. However, many are speculating it is more transmissible as there has been a recent uptick in cases in the South Africa region. Scientists are calling the mutations “concerning” although it isn’t uncommon for a virus to mutate. Frequently, when viruses mutate, they become more transmissible, but cause a less harmful infection.
In a recent interview, Dr. Coetzee corrected the interviewer and clearly stated hospitalizations had not increased in the region. While the Western world imposes travel bans and has resorted to headlines filled with fear and dread, this doctor didn’t use her airtime to pander to the political narrative.
Omicron: Variants, Mutations, and Vaccines
Scientists remain uncertain whether the vaccine will have any efficacy over the new variant. With over 30 mutations in the spike protein, reactions have ranged from cautiously optimistic to scrambling to create a new vaccine. Moderna Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel, stated:
“There is no world, I think, where (the effectiveness) is the same level . . . we had with Delta,”1
Pfizer is hoping their boosters will be enough, but will work to develop new vaccines, just in case it isn’t.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech say a variant-focused vaccine could be ready in less than 100 days. Dolsten said Pfizer and BioNTech have already started to make a DNA template of a new vaccine construct, the next step in the development of a new vaccine after making the mRNA and the lipid envelope it will go into.
It’s not clear whether a new clinical trial would be needed for regulatory approval, based on Pfizer’s previous conversations with the FDA, Dolsten said. It’s possible that a booster focused on the Omicron strain could be authorized, based on studies that have already been done with vaccines based around the Beta and Delta variants.2
The World Reacts to Omicron
All cases detected remain mild, and with no increase in hospitalizations, yet Western nations have raced to enforce travel bans on many southern African nations. The leaders of these banned countries are calling the travel restrictions on their nations discriminatory.3
Scientists in a lab in Durban, South Africa notified the world leaders and health agencies as they started testing the current vaccines a short 36 hours after discovering the new variant. South Africa has led the way in epidemiological studies with HIV and other infectious diseases. They believed they did the right thing by reporting what they are seeing but were met with travel bans on their nations that they said would hinder their country’s economy and recovery.3
The omicron variant has now been found in several European countries, Israel, Canada, Japan, Australia, and others that are not restricted by travel bans. At the time of publication, over 20 countries had reported cases. Of the eight African countries under travel bans, only South Africa had reported cases.4
Singapore: No at Home Recovery; Must Go to Government for Isolation
In Singapore, those diagnosed with either confirmed or suspected omicron will not be allowed to recover at home. Health Minister, Ong Ye Kung said that instead, they will be required to report to a facility to quarantine and recover. The National Centre for Infectious Disease will manage the cases and monitor the isolations. The health minister of these cases states:
“If confirmed, he will be managed there until we are confident that he is not infectious through repeated testing. There is no option for HRP (home recovery programme) for this group of individuals,” Ong said.5
The director of the health ministry, Kenneth Mak made these statements:
“This is a more cautious stance simply because we don’t know what the behaviour of Omicron infection is… we feel it’s prudent to just isolate them further at this time,” said Associate Professor Mak.
By grouping any such cases at a single facility, the authorities can study them more closely and have better experience in dealing with Omicron infections, Prof Mak added.5
Hold the Phone — Doc’s Thoughts:
Here we go again. The only thing that seems to be spinning faster than the booster merry go round is the variant one! Our Nicole Saleske did a great ADP show on variants and why this shouldn’t spark fear. It’s what viruses do. That’s science.
Do you know what isn’t science? Using trash data to approve failing vaccines. Several times in various age groups, including children. Withholding data. Changing the numbers so they match the desired outcome…and putting pregnant women and their babies at risk in the process. A one size fits all approach to mandates, or mandates at all. Those are all not science.
So, what’s going on? The same story, different variant. They’re trying to get us all worked up again. Trying to encourage people to get the vaccine for a variant other than the one that it’s designed for as they admit there are over 30 mutations. So, let’s look at that for a minute. They are encouraging a vaccine for a protein that’s mutated so much that there isn’t knowledge yet whether this vaccine will be effective or not? That doesn’t sound like science either.
Or what about the fear they are instilling? The separation they are going to encourage or try to enforce. Do you remember last year, how just before the holidays and the almighty vaccine we were told not to gather with family and friends? Do you see it in process? Or are they going to try to build the frenzy so they can “rescue” us with the vaccine that’s already being designed? Will they be in such a rush due to this variant that they’ll wave the proper trials because people are desperate for it? Listen to the FDA and CDC meetings. Several times they made the comment about how people wanted it…even as they raised questions about the safety and efficacy! This time it’s possible they may not even need trials?! I have a question; would those people want it so badly if they were aware of the shortcuts taken in the data review? The public comments and petitions from experts that were dismissed? The experts from various leading institutions that have spoken out for and demanded the transparency the public was promised? The original architect of the mRNA technology who called for a halt? The people who’ve been injured by the vaccine including the 913,266 reports in VAERS?
Or did they build a frenzy with media and fear and create a need? Just take a step back for a minute and look back. Consider what you’ve seen in the past 22 months and what you see before you. Consider that they are already in the process of developing the new vaccine. As a business move, do you think they’ll dump that investment if the current vaccine is sufficient?
Let’s chat about natural immunity. This is still a variant of SARS-CoV-2, correct? Those with natural immunity have an immune response that will recognize the whole virus, not just the one protein that was selected, the vaccines were built around, and now has mutated over 30 times. Once again, let’s think about this for a second.
Would you recognize a friend if they simply changed their hair color? Of course! Because you know them! You know more than just their hair color. You know their mannerisms, their speech patterns, their personality, their other physical features. You know much more about them than simply their hair color. Now, what if you were told to meet a friend of a friend that you had only been introduced to through text and decided to go for coffee. All you know is their name and hair color. You show up to the coffee shop, and everyone is wearing hats and have headphones on. How are you going to find your new friend?
Natural immunity is your body finding your friend in a crowd. Vaccine induced immune response to the variant is trying to find the person wearing headphones and a hat. However, this isn’t a friendly meeting for coffee. This is how your body is searching out a virus it needs to fight and clear!
Different Countries, Different Stories
Listen, really listen, to the soundbites you are hearing. Over and over again, you’ll hear “30 mutations,” “variant of concern,” “more transmissible,” and “reinfection.” Consider this:
The WHO notes that it’s not currently clear whether Omicron is more easily spread from person to person compared to other variants. However, the global health agency points out that it seems to be spreading quickly. It’s also unclear whether Omicron causes more severe illness than other variants, including Delta.6
That’s a lot to be unclear about. Especially when the doctor at the epicenter of the South African outbreak and the one who recognized the new variant for sequencing stated she’s only seeing mild cases. She also goes on to refute the world media frenzy that South African hospitals are seeing an increase in admissions. Maybe we should listen to the boots on the ground? We see how well listening to the suits in the suites did the last time.