Why a UK Omicron wave is dangerous – even if we see mostly mild cases

Posted by on December 17, 2021 7:19 am
Categories: Global Stories

Analysis: If the spread continues at this rate, a small proportion of Covid hospitalisations is a serious matter

With the booster programme at full tilt across the UK, immunity against Covid is rising – so it is perhaps not surprising that the concern shown by experts over the steep rise in Omicron infections has left some bemused.

For while the new variant is believed to dodge Covid vaccines to some degree, it is thought the jabs still offer good protection against severe disease – particularly after a booster. And greater levels of immunity means a lower ratio of hospitalisations to cases – something we have seen before in the UK, where about 22% of cases in those aged 65 and older ended up in hospital in early 2021, when Alpha was dominant but few had received a vaccine, compared with about 6% after the vaccine rollout was well under way.

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