Covid Omicron variant: UK reports 22 cases of new strain, number set to rise

Vaccines will likely prevent serious disease, says UK health secretary

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By Reuters

Published: Wed 1 Dec 2021, 11:37 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Dec 2021, 11:47 AM

British Health Secretary Sajid Javid said there were 22 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in the United Kingdom, and that that figure was set to rise.

Javid added that he expected to know more about the variant within two weeks, as scientists work to understand what impact the new variant will have.

"At this point in time the case numbers are very low," he told Sky News. "For the UK we've got 22 confirmed cases at the moment and that will go up, it will certainly go up."

'Vaccines will likely prevent serious disease'

The health secretary said it was possible that vaccines were less effective against the Omicron variant of coronavirus, but they should still protect against serious disease.

"Our best form of defence still remains our vaccines," Javid told Sky News. "It's possible of course, it's possible that it might be less effective. We just don't know for sure yet. But it's also very likely that it will remain effective against serious disease."

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