New studies have shown that the risk of serious illness and hospitalization is much lower with oomicron infection than with the delta variant of the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, the South African Institute of Public Health (NICD) presented statistics indicating that the risk of hospitalization is 80 per cent lower with omicron infection compared to the delta variant of the coronavirus.
The study shows that the risk of serious illness with an omicron infection is 70 percent lower than with a delta infection, which is not peer-reviewed, but is based on statistics on coronary heart disease detected and hospitalization in November in South Africa, the country where the omicron variant was discovered. for the first time.
“These very high data suggest that the Omicron wave is becoming less intense,” said Cheryl Cohen of the South African Institute of Public Health (NICD).
reached the top?
The first cases of omicron were detected in Gauteng province, where the city of Johannesburg, with a population of one million, and the capital, Pretoria, is located.
Nearly 80 percent of infections detected just over a week ago turned out to be omicrons, but that percentage has since been steadily declining.
This is despite the fact that the South African authorities have failed to re-implement strict measures against Corona, which may indicate that the peak of infection has passed.
The South African researchers stress that the findings, which show far fewer hospitalizations among people with oomicron infection, simply cannot be transferred to other countries.
They noted that the vaccination rate is low in South Africa, and the population there may over time be more exposed to the Corona virus than in many other countries.
Therefore, many South Africans may have developed a natural immunity, which helps reduce the severity of oomicron infection.
However, an analysis of statistics on detected infections and hospitalizations in England and Scotland appears to support the findings in South Africa.
The analysis was carried out by researchers at the University of Edinburgh It is based on information about age, gender, underlying health problems, vaccination status and coronary heart disease among nearly 98 per cent of Scotland’s population, he writes. Washington Post.
This study has not yet been peer-reviewed, but it does indicate that the risk of hospitalization is approximately 60 percent lower for those with the omicron variant of the virus, compared to those with the delta variant.
This should be called good news, says Jim McMenamin, who is leading the fight against COVID-19 in Scotland and is a co-author of the study.
According to the Scottish researchers, people who have recently been vaccinated have some protection against oomicron infection, but the protection against this variant is less than that against the delta.
The study showed that among those who received a third overdose of the mRNA vaccine, the risk of so-called accidental omicron infection was reduced by 57 percent.
The risk of symptomatic delta infection is reduced by more than 80 percent for those who received a booster dose.
The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Wednesday strongly opposed offers by rich countries to refill doses for their citizens, saying that this increases inequality in the world and helps prolong the epidemic.
“No country can be immunized against the epidemic,” he said.
More and more countries, including Norway, are offering a third refill dose, and Israel this week announced that health professionals and residents over 60 will get a fourth dose.
This is happening at a time when vaccines were offered only to a small number of the population of many densely populated developing countries.
proliferation and mutation
“Programs to give all-dose refills are more likely to prolong rather than end the epidemic,” Tedros said.
– This happens when the vaccine ends in countries that already have a large coverage of the vaccine and leads to the virus having a greater chance of spreading and mutating, warns the head of the World Health Organization.
Tedros assures that everyone who has been vaccinated is well protected from dangerous diseases as a result of omicron.
It is also important to remember that the vast majority of those who are hospitalized and die of COVID-19 are not immune. Not because they haven’t received their refill doses, he says.
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