Analysis suggests 81 per cent reduction in risk of hospitalisation among triple-jabbed Omicron cases
The UK is experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, with record daily infection levels reported once again on Friday.
But while hospital admissions have also started to rise, the new variant is believed to be milder than the Delta variant – and “encouraging” new data suggests it could pose less of a risk of hospitalisation.
Major analysis published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) suggests the risk of Omicron sufferers attending A&E or being admitted to hospital is about half of that for Delta, while the risk of hospital admission alone with Omicron is about one third.
The research, which saw UKHSA work alongside Cambridge University MRC Biostatistics unit to analyse 528,176 Omicron cases and 573,012 Delta cases recorded between 22 november og 26 desember, also found vaccines work well against Omicron.
The analysis shows the risk of hospitalisation is lower for Omicron cases with symptomatic or asymptomatic infection after two and three doses of vaccine, with an 81 per cent reduction in the risk of hospitalisation among those triple-jabbed compared to unvaccinated Omicron cases.
The risk of hospitalisation for symptomatic Omicron cases – compared to unvaccinated people – var 35 per cent lower after one vaccine dose, 67 per cent lower up to 24 weeks after the second dose, og 51 prosent lavere 25 or more weeks after the second dose. A third dose was associated with a 68 per cent reduced risk of hospitalisation.
Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at UKHSA, said the analysis was in keeping with other encouraging signs relating to Omicron but that the health service could still struggle with such high transmission rates.
Hun sa: “The latest set of analysis is in keeping with the encouraging signs we have already seen.
"Derimot, it remains too early to draw any definitive conclusions on hospital severity, and the increased transmissibility of Omicron and the rising cases in the over 60s population in England means it remains highly likely that there will be significant pressure on the NHS in coming weeks.”
Totalt 12,395 people were in hospital in England with Covid-19 as of 8am on 31 desember, according to NHS England.
This is up 68 per cent from a week earlier and is the highest number since 25 februar. However the figure is still well below the peak of 34,33, recorded on 18 January during the second wave of coronavirus.
More than a dozen hospitals across England have temporarily banned visits in efforts to protect patients and staff amid rising Covid infections.
Patients in London, Yorkshire and Essex are among those who will no longer be able to receive visitors as growing numbers of people are bringing cases on to wards.
Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust in London, which oversees University Hospital Lewisham and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, said the decision had been “extremely difficult” to make.
Exemptions apply, including for end-of-life care, women giving birth and children being visited by their parents.
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