Dr Maria Van Kerkhove answers our questions about the Omicron variant


Do you know people who say the Omicron variant is ‘mild’? Show them this week’s Verified medical expert video. It could help keep them safe.

Omicron is spreading faster than other COVID-19 variants, causing new waves that overwhelm health services and trigger restrictions.

But some say that Omicron is ‘mild’ and even predict that this could be the end of the pandemic. So how dangerous is Omicron?

In today's video, WHO COVID-19 Technical Lead Dr Maria Van Kerkhove addresses this and other important questions about the variant. Share the video to help spread facts about Omicron and how to stay safe.

“Your risk of developing serious disease or needing hospitalisation from Omicron is less compared to Delta. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a mild disease,” she said.

Although the risk of death is reduced, it is still “absolutely critical to get vaccinated, because it will save your life.”

Rather than accepting reports about Omicron’s ‘mild’ symptoms and lowering your guard, the WHO recommends continuing safe practices like mask-wearing and physical distancing. 

By doing this and reducing the spread of COVID, we will quicker bring about the end of the pandemic.

Stay safe,

Team Verified

Current COVID-19 Data
Source: WHO
5.7 Million

10 Billion
Vaccine doses given

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