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Mutations May Make COVID-19 Boosters as Routine as Flu Shots - Report

© AFP 2022 / PHILIP DAVALIPeople queue outside the vaccination center in Oksnehallen in Copenhagen, Denmark, on April 12, 2021, during the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
People queue outside the vaccination center in Oksnehallen in Copenhagen, Denmark, on April 12, 2021, during the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.12.2021
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This comes after the recent discovery of a new COVID-19 strain, Omicron, in South Africa. No substantive research has been done on this variant yet, but a number of optimistic reports suggest that Omicron does not cause severe disease.
Americans may need regular vaccinations against COVID-19 in the future, similar to immunizations against the flu, former FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn told Axios on Wednesday.

"What I find interesting with Omicron is that there are some early and encouraging results of people not getting particularly sick from this variant," Hahn said. "Viruses often mutate to survive, but become less virulent during that mutation, so that might be what we're seeing ... Instead of getting a booster every six months, it could maybe be once a year."

The B.1.1.529 coronavirus variant, called Omicron, was first detected in Botswana and South Africa last month and has been designated as one "of concern" by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to South African scientists, it is more virulent than the Delta variant, due to the unusually high number of mutations.
At the same, scientists have suggested that the new strain may be less dangerous. According to the WHO’s earlier report, there have been no recorded deaths yet among those infected with Omicron. Michael Ryan, the director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Programme, said the organization needs more time to study the Omicron strain to fully determine its infectiousness and ability to cause severe disease.
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