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17th Dec 2021

UK study finds no evidence Omicron is less severe than Delta

Kieran Galpin


‘We should have data within a week to make a more definitive judgment on relative severity’

A UK study has found that there is no evidence to suggest Omicron is less severe than its sister variant Delta.

The study, hailing from Imperial College London, analysed PCR-tested cases in England between November 20 and December 11. The results confirmed previous statements about the variant’s ability to evade both natural protection and those produced by the vaccine.

The study showed that having had covid only offers 19 per cent protection against the new variant. This is roughly similar to two doses of the vaccine, which the team believes is as much as 20 per cent effective against Omicron. However the study also revealed that boosters increase the protection from that 20 per cent to as much as 80 per cent.

“It’s very early days,” said Neil Ferguson, a professor at Imperial, who helped lead the study.

“We should have data within a week to make a more definitive judgment on relative severity,” Ferguson said.

In other covid news, football fans across the nation have be warned not to attend matches.

“My advice would be, if you’re going to go to a stadium at the weekend, make it one where you can get your vaccine or help out to give a vaccine, rather than going to watch a match,” said Dr Nikki Kanani during a press conference.

Professor Whitty added: “I think what most people are doing – and I think this seems very sensible – is prioritising the social interactions that mean a lot to them and, to prioritise those ones, de-prioritising ones that mean much less to them.”

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