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Booster 80% effective against severe Omicron – Report

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* ‘We are sitting ducks for next COVID-19 wave’, says expert
* Symptoms include runny nose, headache, fatigue
* Surge in UK Omicron cases

UK,US,: A team of UK researchers has analysed the likely impact that a COVID booster shot will have on Omicron and says it could provide around 85 per cent protection against severe illness.

According to the BBC, the protection is a bit less than vaccines given against earlier versions of Covid. But it means the top-up dose should still keep many people out of the hospital.

The modelling, from the team at Imperial College London, is based on limited information on Omicron.

The researchers said there is a high degree of uncertainty until more real-world information is gathered about this new variant that is spreading quickly. Experts are still trying to figure out how mild or severe Omicron will turn out to be, the report said. Meanwhile, the Omicron variant has been spreading fast, especially in the United States, which was already ravaged by the second wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). It is confronting another dark winter, with hospitalisations increasing 45 per cent over the last month and cases rising 40 per cent. And now, a healthcare expert has warned that people in the United States are “sitting ducks for the next wave of COVID-19”.

Advocating booster shots to fight Omicron, Dr.Eric Topol, a cardiologist and founder of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, told CNBC that Americans might not be ready for the fast-spreading variant of coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is triggering runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing and a sore throat and its symptoms are “predominantly” the same as the common cold, a COVID-19 symptom tracking study in the UK has said.

“Omicron symptoms are predominantly cold symptoms, runny nose, headache, sore throat and sneezing, so people should stay at home as it might well be COVID,” Tim Spector, the lead scientist of the ZOE Symptom Tracking Study, was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Meanwhile, The UK recorded 12,133 more cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus on Sunday, a 21 per cent jump on the day before. The total number of Omicron cases is now at 37,101. 10,059 cases of the variant were recorded on Saturday.

The new data comes after health secretary Sajid Javid indicated on Sunday morning that he had not ruled out plans for a two-week circuit breaker lockdown after Christmas.

He told Sky News that ministers were discussing the latest coronavirus data “almost on an hourly basis” with scientific advisers.

He also confirmed that Parliament would be recalled over the Christmas break if the Government wanted to introduce further restrictions.


Tuesday, December 21, 2021 – 01:00

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