NHS could face increase in hospitalizations despite recall, scientists warn | Coronavirus
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Covid hospitalizations could pose major problems for the NHS as Omicron rises in winter despite accelerating the recall program, leading scientists have warned.
In a preliminary study, researchers led by Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London found that vaccines are significantly less effective against Omicron than Delta and saw no evidence that Omicron is inherently milder than Delta.
Their analysis of data provided by the NHS and the UK Health Security Agency showed that the antibodies were 4.5 times less potent against Omicron than Delta. As a result, vaccine protection against symptomatic Omicron infection fell to between zero and 20% after two doses, and between 55% and 80% after a booster.
But early data suggests that Omicron’s inpatient vaccine efficacy may hold up better after a booster, with protection rising from over 95% against Delta to between 80% and 86% against Omicron 60 days after the vaccine. , depending on how quickly the recall protection decreases.
It came as data showed half of adults in the UK had now received a booster vaccine, with more than 930,000 people having been vaccinated on Friday.
Professor Azra Ghani, Chair in Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial, said that while the 80% protection against hospitalization was good from an individual point of view, at the population level, the Declining protection could still mean “a large number of people in need of hospitalization” given how many people are expected to be infected.