Omicron variant will dominate and overwhelm world within 6 months – expert

The new Covid variant will "dominate and overwhelm" the world in the coming months, an infectious diseases doctor claims.

The Singapore-based medic estimates that in three-to-six months the variant will become dominant and will require vaccines to be developed quickly.

However, vaccines need to be tested over three to six months to prove that they can provide immunity against the variant, Dr Leong Hoe Nam told CNBC.

He said: "Frankly, Omicron will dominate and overwhelm the whole world in three to six months."

But when asked about a vaccine specifically for the new variant, he added: "Nice idea, but honestly, it is not practical.

"We won't be able to rush out the vaccines in time and by the time the vaccines come, practically everyone will be infected omicron given this highly infectious and transmissibility."

Meanwhile, the Moderna CEO, Stephane Bancel on Monday said it will take months to develop and ship a vaccine that specifically targets the omicron variant.

But Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla also said shots could be ready in less than 100 days, or slightly over three months.

Brits are currently being pushed to get their booster jabs in the wake of the Omicron variant arriving in the UK.

Speaking at a press conference from Downing Street, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We don’t yet know the extent to which this new wave will wash up on our shores but history shows that we cannot afford to be complacent.

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“If we want to control the epidemic here in the UK and if we want to avoid new restrictions on our daily lives, we must all get vaccinated as soon as we are eligible.”

Ten more cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been detected in the UK today, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), bringing the total to 42

Reuters reports that Delta strain currently accounts for 99% of Covid infections, which started becoming more common in the Indian state of Maharashtra in March 2021.

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