An OCTA Research fellow shared his presentation on the COVID-19 Omicron variant and described it as having properties that will provide a natural immunity for the population.
Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, an OCTA fellow and a molecular biologist, shared a presentation during a GoNegosyo town hall meeting on the effects of the Omicron variant. He said that the highly transmissible variant is actually a blessing as it provides some kind of natural immunity.
Austriaco expressed his optimism that we are now nearing the pandemic; thanks to Omicron’s acting as a natural vaccine.
“We have to realize that Omicron is the beginning of the end of the pandemic because Omicron is going to provide the kind of population immunity that should stabilize our societies, this is the hope and prayer,” Austriaco was quoted on the Inquirer.
According to the researcher’s presentation, those who survived the Omicron variant become more protected to a wider range of COVID-19 variants. They were able to gain antibodies not just Omicron but other variants such as the Delta, Gamma, Beta, Alpha and the D614G.
“Omicron is actually a blessing. It will be hard for one month but afterward, it should be a blessing because it will provide the population protection that we need everywhere,” Austriaco added.
The scientist noted South Africa’s experience with the Omicron variant where they had a surge until their numbers of cases eventually dropped. Austriaco noted, “Once it spreads like wildfire, and when all the trees are burned, there’s nowhere for it to go. So it begins to crash.”
Despite the optimism, Austriaco continues to remind the public to be cautious and practice health measures. He noted that those who are vaccinated will undergo milder symptoms and much lesser chances of hospitalizations and death. However, it will be harder for the unvaccinated individuals.
As of January 6, the Philippines now has a total of 43 confirmed Omicron cases.