Biochemist Katalin Karikó, who co-developed the mRNA technology that contributed to the production of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against the coronavirus, is optimistic that the new Omicron variant of the virus can end the pandemic by creating herd immunity.
This article was originally published on our sister-site, Ungarn Heute.
If it is really the case what some suggest that Omicron displaces the Delta variant because it is more contagious but does not cause severe disease, then we don’t have to worry, I am very optimistic,”
said the Hungarian scientist on Kossuth Radio on Wednesday, adding that she believes it is too early to determine the effectiveness of the vaccines currently in circulation against the new mutation.
According to reports from South Africa, the number of infected people has increased exponentially, but the condition of the sick did not get worse as in the time of the delta variant. Most of those requiring hospital treatment were not vaccinated, and those in intensive care also had other respiratory illnesses. So far, however, little data is available. If it spread faster, and the disease was not so severe, then herd immunity could be achieved.”
Karikó also responded to the widely-held belief that one should not vaccinate during a pandemic. Of course, it would have been better if we had known that the pandemic was coming and if the vaccine had already been available. But the virus is already here and there is no better solution than vaccination, the scientist said.
Featured photo by Tibor Rosta/MTI