Omicron could threaten immunity – but here's why we're not back to square one

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Concept of microscopic view of covid-19 omicron variant or B.1.1.529, variant of concern. 3D rendering.
Concept of microscopic view of covid-19 omicron variant or B.1.1.529, variant of concern. 3D rendering.
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The new coronavirus variant of concern, Omicron, has caused global alarm. 

While it was first discovered by scientists in Botswana and South Africa, it has since been detected in more than 20 other countries, including the US, the Netherlands, and Scotland.

It is not yet clear how the new variant will affect the behaviour of the virus, including how well it transmits in a community, whether it causes severe disease, and whether it can escape protection provided by the current vaccines.

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