OMICRON cases have multiplied more than tenfold since the first US infections were discovered, but scientists’ understanding of the variant has grown in lockstep.
This weekend, the World Health Organization (WHO) released its first death report, highlighting how harmful it is.
On November 22, South African scientists sequenced the new Covid variant and uploaded their data to GISAID. Hundreds of thousands of daily cases have been recorded by officials in several countries since then.
Scientists have revealed that Omicron poses a number of threats, one of which is increased vaccine resistance by trading in some severity.
Reports, including one from the World Health Organization, have gone into greater detail about the danger it poses.
Early study indicates that it diminishes the efficiency of two Pfizer doses by 30%, and it may reduce the effectiveness of AstraZeneca to zero.
While the booster can restore it to 75%, the program is still far from complete, leaving many people vulnerable to Omicron’s mercy.
Omicron Covid reinfection is also becoming more common around the world. Reinfections are also being seen in children.
Scientists at Imperial College London say that when they looked at a lot of different things, Omicron was linked to a 4.38 to 6.63-fold higher risk of getting infected again than Delta.
According to the researchers, this means that protection against contracting Covid from a previous infection within the last six months has dropped from around 85% before Omicron was discovered to anywhere between 0% and 27% now.
Given that Omicron has been discovered to be able to evade the body’s immune responses to a large degree, the decline is unsurprising.
It’s still unclear how well Omicron immune responses defend against re-infections or infections with novel strains.
“I would expect the risk of a second Omicron infection is a lot lower than the risk of Omicron following Delta after all you have developed antibodies to the actual Omicron spike protein,” says Paul Hunter, a professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia.
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