Global stock markets fell after Moderna boss Stephane Bancel's comments on the efficacy of current COVID-19 vaccines against the new Omicron variant of the virus. 

Bancel said that current COVID-19 vaccines would be less effective against the Omicron variant. He also said that it could take months for companies to update the currently available vaccines. 

Global Stock Markets Fall After Moderna Boss's Vaccine Efficacy Comment

Global stock markets fell after Stephane Bancel, Modern boss, shared his insights on the efficacy of current COVID-19 vaccines against the Omicron variant. 

According to a report by the BBC, Bancel "predicted that existing vaccines would be less effective in staving off Omicron and that it would take months for drug companies to update vaccines."

"There is no world, I think, where [the effectiveness] is the same level," Bancel said. 

The United States' Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq, the United Kingdom's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX, France's Cac 40, and Japan's Nikkei all experienced falls after the comments made by the Moderna boss. 

According to the BBC report, "Markets plunged on Friday after investors were rattled by the discovery of the new variant, with the FTSE 100 index suffering its biggest drop in more than a year."

The new Omicron variant is seen as a threat to economic recovery and can worsen inflation around the world. 

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The Omicron Variant 

The newest variant of COVID-19, Omicron, was first detected in South Africa. It was previously known as B.1.1.529 when it was first spotted. 

An update on the new variant issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) states that "It is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible (e.g., more easily spread from person to person) compared to other variants, including Delta."

The WHO also said that it is still also unclear whether or not the Omicron variant causes more severe disease. The BBC report notes that symptoms for the latest COVID variant has been mild thus far. 

The organization also notes that current tests are able to detect the Omicron variant and that it is working with its partners to learn more about the effectiveness of available COVID-19 vaccines against it. 

Different countries around the world have announced fresh travel restrictions for countries with known cases of the Omicron variant.  

How to Protect Yourself From Omicron

The emergence of the Omicron variant has once more sparked fears around the world as there is not much that is known about it as of the moment. Nevertheless, it is recommended that everyone should take the necessary steps to protect themselves against the new COVID-19 strain.

The WHO recommends everyone to continue practicing social distancing and to stay at least one meter away from other people. The organization also reminds everyone to always wash their hands and to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if they have not.  

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Written by Isabella James

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