Omicron may be key to ending pandemic, expert says
Mar 14, 2022
Dr. Omar Bagasra speaks on Feb. 24.
In 2020 COVID-19 caused many countries to impose nationwide shutdowns, but the coronavirus is not new.
“Coronavirus has been around for thousands of years,” immunization/virus expert Dr. Omar Bagasra told Panther reporters on Feb. 24. Bagasra is a professor of biology at Claflin University, where he also founded the South Carolina Center for Biotechnology.
“There are three very severe forms of the coronavirus that we have seen in the last decade or so,” Bagasra said. SARS1, MERS and SARS2 are the most severe forms of the virus.
Bagasra stressed the origin of COVID-19. “It came from a bat. It did not come from some laboratory.”
The United States did not handle the coronavirus properly from the beginning, Bagasra said. “Our country was not prepared for it; China was prepared.”
According to Bagasra, the vaccine used by the U.S. is not as effective because it only contains part of the virus. He said using the whole dead virus, as with China’s vaccines, would provide immunity and eliminate the need for continuing boosters.
“Nobody talks about the whole virus vaccine in this country,” Bagasra said.
Whole vaccines cost 1/10 of a penny, which is why Bagasra believes they will not be used in the U.S. Big pharma is making lots of money from the vaccines and boosters.
As long as vaccines in the U.S. remain as they are now, boosters will be needed, said Bagasra, who advocated all people being vaccinated.
Bagasra is looking at the Omicron variant in hopes of ending the pandemic.
“Omicron is a very mild virus. It’s almost like a common cold,” he said. “Many people have it.”
Bagasra stated that research is still being done to see if having Omicron can result in being immune to coronavirus variants.
“In my opinion, we might have gotten really lucky,” Bagasra said regarding immunity gained from so many people being infected with Omicron.
Ayanna Harrison contributed to this report.