UK vaccine rollout ‘setting the benchmark’ says Freeman
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A new study has shown that the Pfizer vaccine may be up to 40 times less effective against the Omicron variant than the Delta variant.
The study, carried out in South Africa, has found that it has an ability to escape some vaccine antibodies.
However, whilst it can evade a lot of them, it can’t evade all of them.
This is good news.
The study, carried out by the Africa Health Research Institute, also found that those who had been both infected by COVID-19 and infected had more protection against Omicron.
Omicron is also between five and 10 times better at evading the vaccine than the Beta variant, one that also originated in South Africa.
Despite not being quite as good at evading the vaccine as previous variants such as Beta, scientists still think that Omicron has an immune escape advantage over other variants.
There is one major caveat to this study, in that the sample of vaccinated people was just 12.
As a result, further, larger scale studies need to be conducted in order to confirm the South African study’s figures.
There is no news so far of how effective the Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines are against the variant.
Even this small study scale shows that Omicron’s impact on the vaccine is significant.
The less effective the vaccine, the less protection the wider population has against the virus.
This will in turn lead to questions about measures that should be put in place to stop the spread of Omicron.
According to the government, there is now community transmission of Omicron.
The UK has the highest number of new Omicron cases in Europe.
There are now over 400 confirmed cases of Omicron in the UK.
It is because of the rising number of Omicron cases in the UK, combined with its increased transmissibility, that some restrictions have been put back in place.
This includes mask wearing and mandatory PCR tests for those returning from abroad.
If Omicron continues to spread and result in more pressure being placed on the NHS, the worry is that we may have to lockdown.
This would mean all parties, even those with cheese and wine, would be cancelled.
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