A new study finds that omicron is no less serious than previous variants, and not just more transmissible

A new study by researchers at Harvard Medical School, among others, has found that the omicron variant of coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is as severe as previous variants, and no more transmissible but no less severe, as I thought before.

The study was based on records of 130,000 COVID patients in Massachusetts and was conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Minerva University in conjunction with Harvard and is currently being peer-reviewed by Nature Portfolio, according to a Reuters report. .

But their findings, which assessed the severity of omicron after considering the effect of vaccines, underscore the importance of vaccines and enhancers and show that they helped curb hospitalizations and deaths during omicron increase.

“Although unadjusted hospital admission and mortality rates appeared to be higher in previous waves compared to the Omicron period, after adjusting for confounding factors, such as various demographics, scores of the Charlson’s comorbidity index and vaccination status (and keeping healthcare utilization constant), we found that the risks of hospitalization and mortality were almost identical between periods, ”the authors wrote.

“Our analysis suggests that the intrinsic severity of the Omicron variant may be as severe as previous variants.”

The study comes after a Washington Post analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this week found that omicron caused an increase in deaths in January and February among people. vaccinated. These deaths were mostly among the elderly and people with compromised immune systems and are believed to have diminished protection against vaccination.

See now: The analysis reveals that Omicron caused an increase in deaths in vaccinated people, although unvaccinated people are still more at risk

Experts agree that vaccination and reinforcements remain the best protection against serious illness and death and continue to urge unvaccinated people to get vaccinated. And there are concerns that the initial view that the omicron was causing only mild symptoms may have persuaded the vaccine doubting that they should not be inoculated.

The study comes as cases continue to rise in the US after a sharp drop earlier this year, driven by the omicron BA.2 variant and two subvariants that seem even more infectious. Both, called BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1, were recently highlighted by New York State health officials.

The United States has an average of 67,953 cases a day, 59 percent more than two weeks ago, according to a New York Times tracker. Cases are rising in all but four states and territories and have more than doubled in the past two weeks to more than a dozen, the tracker shows.

The country has an average of 18,181 hospitalizations a day, 20% more than two weeks ago, but it is still relatively low. The daily death toll has fallen below 400 to 366 on average.

The World Health Organization said on Thursday that new estimates show that the total number of deaths directly or indirectly associated with the COVID-19 pandemic between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 is about 15 million.

This figure compares with the figure provided by Johns Hopkins University of 6.24 million.

News about coronavirus: MarketWatch’s daily summary has been healing and reporting on all the latest developments every business day since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Other news about COVID-19 you should know:

• U.S. regulators on Thursday strictly restricted those who could receive Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine because of a rare but serious risk of blood clots, the Associated Press reported. The Food and Drug Administration said the vaccine should only be given to adults who cannot receive a different vaccine or specifically request the J&J JNJ Janssen vaccine.
U.S. authorities have been recommending for months that Americans starting their COVID-19 vaccines use Pfizer PFE.
+ 0.77%
the modern MRNA,
features instead. The head of vaccines at the FDA, Dr. Peter Marks, said the agency decided to restrict the vaccine after taking another look at life-threatening blood clot risk data and concluding that limit the J&J vaccine.

• North Carolina state employees will have an extra day off to receive a COVID-19 boost, Governor Roy Cooper announced as the state government uses a new incentive to increase vaccination rates , reported the AP separately. Cooper signed an executive order providing leave of absence to permanent, probationary or limited-time workers whose cabinet agencies depend on him. Extra time will be granted to those who have already received the first reinforcement of the COVID-19 or who show the documentation before August 31 of receiving one.

Beijing is struggling to test more than 20 million people as residents strive to stock up on food. Jonathan Cheng of the WSJ shows what life is like in the capital and discovers possible domineering effects if officials cannot control the rapidly spreading virus. Photo: Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

• The number of rebel incidents with U.S. air passengers has declined since a Florida federal judge overturned the federal mandate, the New York Times reported, citing data from the Federal Aviation Administration. The agency reported 1.9 incidents per 10,000 flights during the week ending April 24, down from 4.4 incidents per 10,000 flights a week earlier. He declined to cite a reason for the fall. The CDC continues to recommend that people wear face masks on public transportation and public transportation hubs, especially as omicron subvariants continue to circulate.

• China’s reluctance to vaccinate China’s elderly population is challenging the country’s zero-COVID strategy, the Washington Post reported. Unlike most Chinese coronavirus prevention measures, vaccination is not mandatory and low adoption among the most vulnerable groups in the country is one of the main reasons why Communist Party leaders feel compelled to persist with a grueling “zero-COVID” approach. This has led to a strict blockade in Shanghai which is now being eased. Chinese President Xi Jinping said that easing the strategy would now lead to “a massive number of infections” and deaths.

That’s what the numbers say

The overall number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 exceeded 516.2 million on Wednesday, while the number of deaths exceeded 6.24 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The United States leads the world with 81.7 million cases and 996,996 fatalities.

Monitoring by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 219.9 million people living in the U.S. are fully vaccinated, equivalent to 66.3% of the total population. But only 101 million are promoted, equivalent to 45.9% of the vaccinated population.

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