Omicron variant in Europe earlier than thought – BBC News

The new Covid variant Omicron was present in the Netherlands earlier than previously thought, officials have said.

It was identified in two test samples taken in the country between 19 and 23 November, which is before the variant was first reported by South Africa.

It is not clear whether those who took the tests had visited southern Africa.

Oxford University has said there is no evidence vaccines would not prevent severe disease, but earlier Moderna jolted markets when it said Covid jabs were unlikely to be as effective against Omicron.

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