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A blessing? OCTA fellow blasted for calling Omicron variant a “natural vaccine”

He even called the variant a “blessing” because it would provide further protection collectively

Philippine medical experts shot down the statements of a Filipino-American priest who said the Omicron variant is a “natural vaccine.”

On Wednesday, Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, an OCTA Research fellow and molecular biologist, said the variant could be “the beginning of the end” of the pandemic.

There was nothing wrong with what he said except for when he called the Omicron a natural vaccine.

“So as the virus rapidly increases, it’s going to try to spread to everyone and it’s going to try to find as many of our kababayans vulnerable. It is spreading so rapidly, what you will expect is it will run out the food sooner,” Austriaco said.

“And when it runs out of food, it will begin to crash — which is why you see in South Africa, the numbers are crashing. In London, the numbers are beginning to fall only because, once it spreads like wildfire, and when all the trees are burned, there’s nowhere for it to go. So it begins to crash,” he added.

He even called the variant a “blessing” because it would provide further protection collectively.

“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 and should allow us to reopen,” he said.

“This is the hope and the prayer. The Omicron is actually a blessing. It will be hard for one month, but afterward, it should be a blessing because it should provide the population protection that we need everywhere,” he added.

Just because the variant is milder doesn’t mean it cannot harm, especially to the unvaccinated, he highlighted.

“It’s milder, but if you’re unvaccinated, it’s still harder for you.

“We should expect that most of these cases will be mild. We should expect fewer hospitalizations and deaths,” Austriaco said.

His fellow medical practitioners couldn’t disagree more with what he said.

For a molecular biologist, Austriaco did not sound smart.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has admitted that labeling Omicron “mild” was a mistake.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the variant is overwhelming health facilities.

“While Omicron does appear to be less severe compared to Delta, especially in those vaccinated, it does not mean it should be categorized as mild,” Tedros told a press conference.

“Just like previous variants, Omicron is hospitalizing people and it is killing people.

“In fact, the tsunami of cases is so huge and quick, that it is overwhelming health systems around the world,” he explained.

The WHO’s Covid-19 technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove also said that Omicron may not even be the last variant. She urged the public to remain cautious and careful all the time.

“Do everything that we have been advising better, more comprehensively, more purposefully,” she said.


“We need people to hang in there and really fight,” she added.

Written by Gianni Russo

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