Omicron BA2 subvariant spreading as EU countries lift COVID-19 restrictions: EMA


BRUSSELS  — Cases of Omicron BA2, a COVID-19 subvariant, are rising across the European Union (EU), Xinhua news agency quoted the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

“While many EU countries are lifting restrictions, we notice that the infection rates are increasing again in some member states, partly because of the circulation of Omicron BA2, which seems to be more transmissible than other variants,” Marco Cavalieri, head of the EMA’s strategy on biological health threats and vaccines, told journalists here Thursday.

What matters the most, he said, is how this increase in cases will stress the healthcare systems.

The EMA called non-vaccinated citizens to get jabbed as soon as possible, emphasising that there are now five COVID-19 vaccines authorised in the EU using different technologies.

“There is currently no evidence that immune response after vaccination is significantly different with Omicron BA2. Vaccines continue to offer high protection against hospitalisation and death,” he said.

The vaccines that have received conditional marketing authorisation from the EMA are those produced by Pfizer/BioNtech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen and Novavax.