Preliminary data showed that the efficacy of the vaccine against the Omicron Covid-19 variant was « significantly increased » in the early period after a booster dose, providing about 70% to 75% protection against symptomatic infection.
That’s according to the UK’s Health Security Agency, which also said Omicron is expected to become the dominant alternative in the UK by mid-December with one million infections by the end of the month.
An analysis of 581 people with confirmed Omicron cases showed that the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines provided « significantly lower » levels of protection against the variant compared to the delta variant.
But the efficacy of the vaccine was « significantly increased » in the early period after the booster dose, providing 70% to 75% protection against symptomatic infections.
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunization at the NHS UK, said: « These initial estimates should be treated with caution, but suggest that a few months after the second stab, there is a greater risk of developing an omicron variant than for the Delta strain.
“The data shows that this risk drops significantly after a booster vaccine, so I urge everyone to take the booster when they are eligible.
« We expect vaccines to show higher protection against serious complications of Covid-19, so if you haven’t taken your first and second dose, please book an appointment immediately. »
An additional 448 confirmed cases of the Omicron Covid-19 variant were reported across the UK today, bringing the total number of confirmed Omicron cases there to 1,265.
A breakdown shows that 443 additional cases have been reported in England, one in Scotland and four in Wales. No other cases have been reported in Northern Ireland.
Communities Minister Michael Gove said the UK faces a « very worrying situation » given the rapid rate at which the Omicron type of coronavirus is spreading there.
Speaking to the broadcasters, the Cabinet Minister said: “The Cobra meeting that I have just chaired with early ministers from all the delegated departments has presented him with some very challenging new information.
“We know we have the highest number of Covid cases across the UK today since 9 January.
« We know that the Omicron variant doubles every two to three days in England, and possibly faster in Scotland.
« We know that 30% of cases reported in London are Omicron and of course we only identified Omicron in this country two weeks ago. »
Stormont’s health minister, Robin Swann, said new COVID restrictions are in place The inevitable for Northern Ireland in January.
Mr Swan told the Palestinian News Agency: “With regard to Omicron, we are watching what is happening around the world but also in England and Scotland in terms of honesty and ability to transmit, but also how that translates to hospitalization as well.
« Until we see what’s already before us, we’ll take each day as it comes. »
« I don’t think they are (the new restrictions) inevitable, but let’s not delude ourselves that they may not be needed by January in terms of where we are, » he added.
« Spécialiste de la télévision sans vergogne. Pionnier des zombies inconditionnels. Résolveur de problèmes d’une humilité exaspérante. »