Many of us are asking that question, as it’s been around two weeks since omicron was discovered in South Africa, and nearly two years since Covid-19 entered our lives.
What’s changed? We have some more information about omicron: How infectious it is, as well as more information about its severity.
#1 More dominant, but not so severe?
The UK expects omicron to become the dominant variant by mid-December, making up over 50% of new infections – it also reported over 58,000 cases on Friday, the most since January 2021.
- Perhaps not as severe? 😮💨 While S.Africa reported that cases were growing fast, its hospital operators said many cases were much milder 🆚 previous waves – it is too early to conclude though.
#2 More important to get boosters 💉
Studies from the UK have revealed boosters offer significantly more protection vs Omicron.
- Pfizer’s vaccine was only 22.5% effective against symptomatic infection without boosters – revealed in S.African experiments. But it’s still sufficient in protecting against severe disease.
However, there are countries where many citizens haven’t been fully vaccinated yet.
Oh dear… how come?
The biggest challenge is a lack of supply. In Africa, only 7.8% of the population is fully vaccinated. This challenge even brings together rivals to work together: 🤝
- Two rivals, Merck (the one who revealed covid pills💊) partnered with J&J – helping J&J with the final stages of its vaccine production. Merk is producing over 500,000 doses a day for use outside the US.
- Why J&J? J&J’s vaccine is easier to handle and store compared to others, which can make it better for countries with less developed infrastructure.
🐿️: As we approach Christmas, I hope you have a safe and lovely one 💖.