Question: I am about to travel and just wandering if I should. How dangerous is the Omicron variant? Should I be concerned?
Answer: Hello. Based on the info coming out of South Africa (where it was first identified) and the latest data, this variant is very contagious but does not seem to be very dangerous – many patients seem to suffer from cold-like symptoms. However this is very, very preliminary data and the data will evolve quickly. We will have a better idea of what we are up against withing a couple of weeks. In the meantime, precaution is the right thing to do.
Recent data seems to suggest that vaccines are about 40% less effective for the omicron than they are for the prevalent delta variant.
Today we have received studies showing that hospitalizations are much less frequent with Omicron that Delta. Countries with younger populations have up to 60% less hospitalizations. Whereas countries with older populations still see significant hospitalization but they are 20% to 30% less than with Delta variant.
Latest from Europe: Early national data suggest that Omicron is associated with a two-thirds reduction in the risk of COVID-19 hospitalisation when compared to Delta. Whilst offering the greatest protection against Delta, the third/booster dose of vaccination offers substantial additional protection against the risk of symptomatic COVID-19 for Omicron
If the studies show that a 60% less hospitalizations why is the media putting off as it it the worst strand so far???