Omicron variant: what does the first real-life data say?

This is the question everyone is asking: will the currently available vaccines be able to protect us from the Omicron variant? The first real-life data is now available. These come from South Africa and the United Kingdom, two countries particularly affected by the Omicron wave.

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The Omicron variant is now almost certainly more contagious that he delta variant. It should become predominant in Europe in January 2022. The United Kingdom considers that the Omicron variant it is between 3.2 and 3.7 times more contagious than the Delta variant. It became a majority in this country on December 16, 2021, just 23 days after South Africa’s announcement. As for the dangerousness of this variant, it is too early to conclude. But it would seem to cause lighter shapes of the disease than the Delta variant. And as for the effectiveness of vaccines available? The first real-life data is now available.

Real life data, what is it?

Before a drug is licensed on the market, clinical trials are conducted and data is analyzed. After its publication, the data continues to be collected through different channels. The main one is the administrative channel; it is about the health system that allows taking responsibility for care.

Analysis of these data provides information that clinical trials cannot provide. The number of patients is much higher and the environment is not controlled. Of course, everything is done during the analysis to ensure the confidentiality personal health data.

Three doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine partially protect

TO british study It was carried out in 581 Omicron cases, 56,439 Delta cases and 130,867 negative cases (controls). The results are amazing:

  • Two doses of the vaccine. AstraZeneca they do not provide protection against the Omicron variant (versus 76.2% versus the Delta variant).
  • Two doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine show an efficacy of 35% 15 weeks after the second injection (versus 63.5% against the Delta variant).
  • Three doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine show an efficacy of 75.5% 2 weeks after the third injection (vs 92.6% against the Delta variant).

TO South African study It was also performed on 58,000 suspected cases of the Omicron variant and 211,000 cases of the Delta variant. Two doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine show an efficacy of 33% in all forms of the disease. On the other hand, the efficacy on severe forms of the disease would be 70% after two doses, regardless of the age of the patients.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may slow the progression of virus with its efficiency rate of 75% after 3 doses. Knowing that the effectiveness of vaccines weakens in the months after the last injection, how long will this relative protection last? In this context, vaccines adapted to this new variant are eagerly awaited.

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