Omicron variant, Ema: “Vaccines will continue to protect”

Executive director Emer Cooke: “Can be adapted to variations, ready-made plans”

Vaccines will continue to protect even with Covid’s Omicron variant. This was stated by the executive director of Ema Emer Cooke, in a hearing at the ENVI commission of the European Parliament, in Brussels. “From the data we see that ‘Covid’ vaccines remain effective and continue to protect against serious illness and death. Even as the new variant becomes more widespread, the vaccines will continue to provide protection,” Cooke said.

“We know that viruses mutate and we are prepared. We have guidelines in place that allow pharmaceutical companies to have an accelerated path” for vaccines adapted to Sars-CoV-2 variants. “We do not know if there will be a need, but we have emergency plans in place. We are preparing for the worst, even if we still hope for the best,” said the executive director of the EMA.

“In my country, Ireland, 93% of the adult population is vaccinated” against Covid-19 “and there are” 15 deaths “per million inhabitants. In EU countries where the vaccination rate of the adult population “is less than 50%, the mortality rate” is around “250 per million inhabitants”, said Cooke, explaining that vaccines significantly reduce deaths caused by the disease.

As for Novavax’s Covid vaccine, “it could be authorized within a few weeks,” he explained.