Omicron To Be Dominant Variant In EU By Mid-January

A boy receives a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 5 - 11, in Rome, Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021. Italy has started vaccinating children aged 5-11 against COVID-19 as the government braces for the spread of the omicron variant during the holiday season. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

(AP) — The European Union’s top official says omicron is expected to be the dominant coronavirus variant in the 27-nation bloc by mid-January.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU is well prepared to fight omicron with 66.6% of the bloc’s population fully vaccinated.

Von der Leyen expressed disappointment Wednesday that the pandemic will again disrupt year-end celebrations but said she was confident the EU has the “strength” and “means” to overcome COVID-19. Continental Europe can look to Britain for a sense of what lies ahead as omicron spreads.

The head of the U.K. Health Security Agency says omicron is displaying a staggering growth rate compared to previous variants. It is expected to be the dominant strain in the U.K. within days.


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