| 19 April 2024, Friday |

Case data, vaccine news mark small victories in omicron battle

According to British statistics, two vaccine makers claimed their doses provided omicron protection.

It has been claimed that it may result in fewer hospitalizations than the delta coronavirus variety, which supports the findings made in South Africa.

Coronavirus infections have skyrocketed throughout most of the world as the extremely infectious omicron strain spreads, prompting new restrictions in a number of nations. However, World Health Organization authorities have stated that it is too early to form solid judgments regarding its pathogenicity.

The variety, which was discovered last month in Southern Africa and Hong Kong, has fast grown prevalent in Britain, where daily infections have surpassed 100,000.

Preliminary evidence suggested that omicron was more resistant to vaccinations created before it was discovered. However, increases in hospitalizations and fatalities in the United Kingdom after the introduction of omicron have been more modest, according to the study.

According to Imperial College London researchers, there has been evidence in the previous two weeks of a 40% to 45 percent reduction in the probability of hospitalization for omicron compared to delta.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca said on Thursday that a three-course injection of its COVID-19 vaccination provided protection against the variation, citing evidence from an Oxford University lab research.

The study, which has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical publication, found that antibody levels against omicron after the booster shot were greater than antibodies in those who had been infected with COVID-19 and recovered spontaneously.

Earlier that day, Novavax Inc said that preliminary results revealed that their vaccine elicited an immunological response against omicron.

The European Union and the World Health Organization approved Novovax’s two-dose, protein-based vaccination for use this week.

The United States has yet to approve it.

Global equities extended their recent gains on Thursday, while safe-haven bonds and currencies fell as investors welcomed news that the omicron version of COVID-19 may be less severe than previously thought.

A research issued on Wednesday by South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases backed up the UK hospitalization figures (NICD).

However, the NICD researchers noted a number of limitations.

“It is difficult to distinguish the proportional influence of preexisting population immunity against inherent reduced virulence to observed lower disease severity,” they stated.

Maria van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical head on COVID-19, agreed that the UN body lacked sufficient evidence to draw clear conclusions.

The data on omicron was still “messy,” she said during a press conference in Geneva on Wednesday.

  • Reuters