Covid warning as two jabs less effective against Omicron than Delta – UK cases surge

Omicron: Sturgeon sends warning of ‘tsunami of infections'

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

The announcement comes amid alarming projections the recently-named Omicron variant is on track to overtake Delta as the UK’s leading variant. According to the latest trends, the mutated virus could become the leading cause of coronavirus infections with more than a million cases by the end of the month. Data published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) indicates 448 additional Omicron infections have been reported across the UK on Friday.

In total, more than 1,260 people have been infected with the virus.

Vaccine efficiency data indicates people who have had both shots of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab 25 or more weeks ago are less protected against Omicron infection than Delta, the Guardian reported.

Present figures indicate protection against symptomatic infection with the Delta variant is about 40 percent.

Protection against the Omicron, meanwhile, appears to be a much more grim 10 percent.

Similar results were obtained from a group of people who have been given the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Protection against symptomatic Delta infection 25 weeks or more after the second jab was estimated at about 60 percent.

Protection against the Omicron variant was estimated at just under 40 percent.

However, the figures are not yet set in stone and there is a great deal of uncertainty about how the new variant behaves.

Sajid Javid provides update on measures against Omicron variant

According to the Guardian, the figures were derived from a small number of people, many of whom were “older or more vulnerable”.

But they do suggest a booster shot may be needed to give the body better protection against the virus.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at the UKHSA, said: “These early estimates should be treated with caution but they indicate that a few months after the second jab, there is a greater risk of catching the Omicron variant compared to Delta strain.

“The data suggest this risk is significantly reduced following a booster vaccine, so I urge everyone to take up their booster when eligible.

“We expect the vaccines to show higher protection against the serious complications of Covid-19, so if you haven’t yet had your first two doses please book an appointment straight away.”

According to the data, a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine raised the level of protection against infection Delta and Omicron by 70 to 75 percent.

The Government approved the rollout of booster shots for eligible adults late last month.

These are expected to become available by the end of January in the new year.

See the latest Covid vaccine stats below and visit InYourArea for all the Covid vaccine latest

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Since we learnt of the new Omicron variant a few days ago, our strategy has been to buy the time we need to assess it while doing everything we can at pace to strengthen our defences.

“Our best weapon to fight the virus is to get as many jabs in arms as possible.

“That is why I asked the JCVI to urgently look at expanding and accelerating the vaccination programme in light of the Omicron variant.

“Thanks to their rapid advice we are now able to put our booster programme on steroids – and protect even more people even more quickly.”

Source: Read Full Article