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With potential global waves of new Omicron variant, vaccination advised — expert

By Rayya Al Muheisen - Dec 11,2023 - Last updated at Dec 11,2023

A medical staff member prepares a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, at the Saint-Camille Hospital in Bry-sur-Marne, east of Paris, on January 8, 2021 (AFP file photo)

AMMAN — The emergence of the new Omicron variant (JN.1 Omicron) raises concerns about potential global waves of coronavirus, prompting a recommendation for Jordanians to get vaccinated.

Derar Bal’awi, associate clinical professor and consultant pharmacotherapist, told The Jordan Times that the new Omicron variant (JN.1 Omicron) could lead to waves of coronavirus globally, and Jordan is not an exception. 

He added that in the US, the detection rate of the Omicron subvariant JN.1 showed a significant increase last week, which could lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases as the winter approaches.

“JN.1 has proven to be the fastest-growing variant in the BA.2.86 family,” Bal’awi added.  

Bala’wi expected this variant to lead to the next waves of COVID-19 worldwide. “Some European countries have already reported sharp increases in the JN.1 virus, and over the past two weeks, the JN.1 level jumped from 8.1 per cent to 21.4 per cent,” said Bal’awi.  

“JN.1 is now the second most common variant detected, surpassed only by HV.1, which is part of the XBB.1.9.2 lineage,” Bal’awi added.  

He mentioned that the continuous growth of the JN.1 variant indicates that it is either more transmissible or better at evading the immune system. However, there is no evidence that it poses an increased risk compared with other variants. 

Bala’wi pointed out that the activity of the coronavirus is likely to increase over the next month in the northern hemisphere.  


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