People infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus face a 59% lower risk of being hospitalized than with the Delta variant, and a 69% lower chance of dying, according to a study published in the journal “The Lancet”.
Researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge have carried out the largest comparative study of both variants to date, based on data from 1.5 million cases of COVID-19 registered between November 2021 and January this year. .
The differences between the Omicron and the Delta are especially relevant in older patients. People between 60 and 69 years old face a 75% less chance of being hospitalized with Omicron, while in the significant differences in the level of risk.
By adjusting his statistics to take into account various factors, such as the immunity provided by vaccines, the researchers conclude that Omicron has a “minor intrinsic severity” than the delta.
Among unvaccinated individuals, the rate of death is 80% if the variant of the virus is Omicron.
The study also confirms that having previously had COVID-19 offers additional protection to unvaccinated people, who are 45% less likely to be hospitalized than in their first infection, while it does not provide appreciable advantages to the risk of admission between the vaccinated, already low.
The work published today is “the most detailed analysis to date on the seriousness of the ”said Neil Ferguson, professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College.
”It is interesting to what extent the reduction in severity varies with age. We see the greatest reduction in severity in people between the ages of 50 and 60.” Ferguson details.
“Although the vaccines are somewhat less effective in preventing hospitalization in cases of Omicron, compared to Delta, their effectiveness continues to be substantial”highlights the scientist.
The chief medical adviser of the United Kingdom health agency (UKHSA), Susan Hopkins, indicates by , that “they continue to offer high levels of protection against Omicron.”
That variant represents more than 99% of new diagnoses in the United Kingdom, which in the last week have risen by nearly 50%, to more than 500,000 new cases in seven days.