Omicron to be dominant variant in EU by mid-January

BRUSSELS (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.