What we know and don’t know about the omicron coronavirus variant

Another coronavirus variant has emerged, and with it comes a new wave of uncertainty and unanswered questions. Days after the news broke, we remain in an information vacuum, and in a prognostication whirlwind with even vaccine makers contradicting each other. Finding answers like whether vaccines can thwart new variants takes time.

To quickly recap, late last week, researchers in South Africa and Botswana raised the alarm that they had detected a coronavirus variant with myriad mutations, many of which are in the part of the virus that helps it enter and infect cells. The World Health Organization quickly gave this highly mutated variant its own Greek letter — omicron

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