According to preliminary figures, people with oomicron have a 50 to 70 percent lower chance of being hospitalized. UKHSA chief executive Jenny Harris described this as “an encouraging sign that people who contract the omicron variant may have a relatively lower risk of hospitalization than people who develop the other variants.”
Harris confirmed that these are preliminary research findings. She said more research is needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn. Meanwhile, the highly contagious Omicron has already replaced the delta variant as the dominant form of the virus in some countries.
The UK is rapidly introducing booster doses for adults so that they are better protected from the new alternative. According to research, a booster shot gives people more protection against contracting an oomicron, but it goes down faster than a delta. The UKHSA says protection from such an extra shot drops by 15 to 25 per cent after 10 weeks.
It was already suspected that the omicron may have a milder course of the disease. Based on preliminary figures, Imperial College London reported on Wednesday that patients with oomicrons need 20 to 25 percent fewer visits than patients with delta. The chance of staying in hospital for more than a day is reduced by 40 to 45 percent.
On the other hand, the rate at which the omicron spreads clearly shows that this variant is much more contagious than delta. The United Kingdom reported 119,789 new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours on Thursday, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. Other countries are also witnessing broken records of infection.
Virologist Anne Wensing previously explained the difference between an omicron and a delta variant.
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