Two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are not enough to prevent infection with the Omikron variant of the coronavirus, but the booster dose is up to 75%. Protection – British scientists reported on Friday.

A study published by the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA), which is based on 581 confirmed cases of the Omikron variant, showed that the AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNtech vaccines provided “a much lower level of protection against symptomatic infection compared to protection against symptomatic infection” of the delta variant. “.

“Preliminary data showed that efficacy against the new variant increases significantly early after the booster dose, providing 70-75% protection from symptomatic infection,” he added. But this is significantly less protection than the boost dose with the delta variant provides.

The UKHSA added that vaccines may still provide good protection against severe Covid-19 symptoms that require inpatient treatment, and said data on whether and how severe the disease is after infection with the Omikron variant will be released next week. She also expressed a reservation that the results should be treated with extreme caution, because the research sample was very small.

As reported in the analysis, evidence shows that the new variant is transmitted “faster than the dominant delta variant” and that there is a greater risk of transmission upon contact with an infected person than the delta variant.

The UKHSA estimates that if Omikron continues to spread at its current rate, it will “become the dominant strain, accounting for more than 50% of all Covid-19 infections in the UK by mid-December”. It was noted that by the end of December, the daily number of infections could reach 100,000, and the total number of infections with the Omikron variant could reach one million.

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In Great Britain, more than 58,000 were announced on Friday. Infections with all variants of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the highest number in 11 months, and by 448 new cases of the Omikron variant detected, bringing the total number to 1,265.

From London Bartłomiej Niedziński (PAP)

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