Coronavirus, Omicron | Omicron Inclusive Studies: – After World

The risk of serious illness and hospitalization is far lower with an Omicron infection than with the delta variant of the coronavirus, new studies show.

On Wednesday, the South African Institute of Public Health (NICD) released statistics that said the risk of hospitalization with an Omicron infection is 80 percent lower than with the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

The risk of serious illness with Omicron infection is 70 percent lower than with Delta infection, shows the study, which is not peer-reviewed but is based on statistics on identified coronary artery disease and hospital admissions in November in South Africa, the country where in which the Omicron variant was first discovered.

“These very uplifting data strongly suggest that the omicron wave is becoming less severe,” said Cheryl Cohen of the South African Institute of Public Health (NICD).

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Reached the top?

The first cases of Omicron were discovered in the province of Gauteng, where the metropolis Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria are located.

Almost 80 percent of the cases of infections identified a little more than a week ago were omicrons, but this proportion has steadily declined since then.

This is despite the fact that the South African authorities have failed to reintroduce strict corona measures, which could indicate that the infection has peaked.

More exposed

The South African researchers emphasize that the results, which show significantly fewer hospital admissions for Omikron infected people, cannot simply be transferred to other countries.

They point out that vaccination rates are low in South Africa and that residents there have likely been more exposed to the coronavirus over time than many other countries.

As a result, many South Africans may have developed a natural immunity that will help reduce the severity of Omicron infection, it is pointed out.

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Scottish study

However, analysis of statistics on detected infections and hospital admissions in England and Scotland seems to support the results in South Africa.

The analysis was carried out by researchers from the University of Edinburgh and is based on information on age, gender, underlying health problems, vaccination status and coronary artery disease in nearly 98 percent of the Scottish population, writes Washington Post.

This study has not yet been reviewed either, but shows that the risk of hospitalization for those infected with the Omicron variant of the virus is almost 60 percent lower than for those infected with the Delta variant.

– That must be called good news, says Jim McMenamin, who leads efforts against Covid-19 in Scotland and is co-author of the study.

Refill cans

According to Scottish researchers, people who have recently been vaccinated have some protection against omicron infection, but less protection against this variant than against Delta.

Those who received a third top-up dose of mRNA vaccine had a 57 percent lower risk of developing what is known as symptomatic omicron infection, the study shows.

The risk of developing symptomatic delta infection is reduced by more than 80 percent for those who received a booster dose.

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World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday spoke out strongly against rich countries’ offers to refill cans to their own citizens, saying that this is adding to inequality in the world and helping to increase the pandemic extend.

“No country can be vaccinated against the pandemic,” he said.

More countries, including Norway, are offering a third refill dose, and Israel announced this week that health professionals and residents over 60 will be receiving a fourth dose.

This comes at a time when vaccines were only offered to a few residents in many populous developing countries.

Spread and mutate

“Programs to give all refill doses are likely to prolong the pandemic rather than end it,” Tedros said.

– This happens when the vaccine ends up in countries that already have high vaccination coverage, leaving the virus with a greater chance of spreading and mutating, the WHO chief warns.

Tedros emphasizes that anyone who has been vaccinated is well protected from serious illnesses with Omicron.

– It is also important to remember that the vast majority of those who are hospitalized and die from Covid-19 are unvaccinated. It’s not because they didn’t receive refills, he says.

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