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British study: Two vaccines protect a little from Omicron

British study: Two vaccines protect a little from Omicron

According to the NHS, people with two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines as well as Pfizer and Biontech had significantly lower protection against accidental infections compared to the delta variant, which is currently still prevalent in Austria.

In this study, data from 581 omicron cases and thousands of delta cases were analyzed to calculate the efficacy of vaccines against the novel variant. The BBC reported, citing the study, that the decrease in efficacy was particularly strong with the AstraZeneca vaccine. But there has also been a significant drop in vaccine from Pfizer and Biontech.

70 to 75 percent protection with boost

However, this study also found that after a booster vaccination with a vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer, there was about 70 to 75 percent protection against symptomatic infection — no matter which vaccine a person originally got. In addition, the agency predicts that vaccines may still prevent good protection against serious diseases through a hospital stay.

This was also seen in seven Germans who developed the Omikron variant despite the booster vaccination. They did not have any difficult courses. One could “assume that at least a dangerous pathway will be prevented,” said Wolfgang Preiser of Stellenbosch University in South Africa about the effect of vaccines against Omicron. Sciences.

Booster “makes sense after only three months”

According to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), booster vaccinations can be given after three months. Biontech founder Ugur Sahin has spoken out in favor of an earlier third vaccine in light of the prevalence of the Omikron variant. “With regard to Omikron, there are two doses for which vaccination with adequate protection has not yet been completed. If Omikron continues to spread, it would make scientific sense to introduce a booster after three months. This has already been done in Great Britain.

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The UK is currently experiencing a sharp rise in the number of cases. On Friday, the number of new infections reached 58,194 new cases, the highest level since the ninth of January. In London, the Omikron variant, according to an estimate by the Minister for Local Government, Michael Gove, is 30 percent of patients. The health authority expects that half of all cases in the country will be due to Omicron by mid-December and that if growth continues, the million mark could be reached by the end of the month.

“These early estimates should be used with caution, but they do suggest that a few months after the second vaccination, there is a greater risk of infection with the Omicron strain than the Delta strain,” said Mary Ramsay, director of the NHS Department of Immunizations. .

Tightening in Great Britain

Politicians have reacted by expanding mask requirements. Since Friday, a mouth and nose guard must be worn again in theatres, churches, museums and cinemas. From Wednesday, a vaccination permit or a negative CoV test will be mandatory for major events. The measures were met with sharp criticism in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party. Dozens of MPs have already announced that they will vote against the rules in Parliament on Tuesday. They fear dire consequences for the economy and accuse Johnson of wanting to use measures to divert attention from the many scandals.

The number of omicron cases is also increasing rapidly in South Africa. According to the Ministry of Health, the number of new infections rose by 400 percent on a weekly basis. The Omikron variant was behind 70 percent of cases.

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The strictest quarantine rules in Vienna

Also in Austria, large-scale closures after Christmas cannot be ruled out, because Omikron could also increase the number of infections in this country and thus the burden on hospitals. Vienna has already established stricter rules for the occurrence of Omikron or suspected Omikron cases in schools and kindergartens – more on this at If there is a suspected or confirmed Omikron case in a class, parts or the entire class must be quarantined as a close contact person (K1) for 14 days.

Also in Salzburg, a 14-day quarantine is increasingly being requested due to the risk of oomicron spread based on the requirements of the Ministry of Health – more on this in For people infected with Omikron and people who are in close contact with them, a 14-day separation is applied. 14 days of separation also applies to people in contact with non-Omicron people from the same household – even if they have been fully vaccinated.