Research posted this week on Lancet confirms what many doctors thought. The risk of severe outcomes following SARS-CoV-2 infection is substantially lower for Omicron than for Delta.
The study, which followed 1.5 million laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 patients resident in England between 29 November 2021 and 9 January 2022, found much lower rates of hospitalisation and death among Omicron cases compared to Delta cases. After adjusting for the impact of prior infection and vaccination the study found that the hospitalisation rate was 59% lower for Omicron compared to Delta and the risk of dying was 69% lower.
Vaccination was somewhat less effective against Omicron than against Delta. However, its effect against Omicron was still substantial, reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death by 70% after three jabs of an mRNA vaccine.
At the same time Omicron continues to kill. In Hong Kong, a territory with a population of 7.5 million, nearly 5,000 Covid-19 deaths have been reported over the last month. Hong Kong’s vaccination rates are low, particularly among those 70 and over.
Lancet article (in English)