According to a recent Danish study released last week, the spread of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus is likely due to the increased susceptibility of the vaccinated to the variant than previous infections.
“Our findings confirm that the rapid spread of the Omicron [variant of concern] primarily can be ascribed to the immune evasiveness rather than an inherent increase in the basic transmissibility,” the University of Copenhagen researchers wrote.
The study took into account Danish households with Omicron and Delta variants in their homes with 2,225 households with the more recent variant studied and 9,712 households with the Delta variant studied.
“Vaccine effectiveness was reduced to around 40% against symptoms and 80% against severe illness for omicron in the fully vaccinated,” the study claimed. “Booster shots increased those numbers to 86% and 98% respectively.”
However, the study found that booster-vaccinated individuals were thought to be well-protected against hospitalization and less likely to transmit the virus.
In addition to being branded as a variant that is able to “evade immunity offered by vaccines” it is also thought to be able to skip past the barriers placed by prior infection by the COVID-19 virus, , according to a study from the Imperial College London COVID-19 response team.
“The new variant was 5.41 times more likely to reinfect someone than delta was, the researchers found,” according to Fox.
And while the Omicron variant might have found a workaround the various types of immunities, it is also though to be much less deadly than Delta and other previous variants of the illness.
According to the researchers at the LKS Faculty of Medicine at The University of Hong Kong, “infection in the lung is significantly lower than the original SARS-CoV-2, which may be an indicator of lower disease severity.”
And Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, said last week that “the disease is mild” in almost all United States cases thus far.
“What we generally know is the more mutations a variant has, the higher level you need your immunity to be,” Walensky told the Associated Press. “We want to make sure we bolster everybody’s immunity.