Omicron up to 70% less likely to cause hospitalization than delta variant, UK government study finds

People are far less likely to be admitted to hospital with the omicron Covid variant than the previous delta strain, according to a U.K. government study published Thursday.

The U.K. Health Security Agency said individuals with omicron are estimated to be between 31% and 45% less likely to attend emergency departments compared to those with delta, and 50-70% less likely to require admission to hospital.

The analysis is “preliminary and highly uncertain” due to the small numbers of omicron cases currently in hospital, the inability to effectively measure all previous infections and the limited spread of the new variant to older age groups, the UKHSA said.

The findings are based on 132 people who were admitted to or transferred from emergency departments. Of those, 17 people had received their boosters, 74 people were double vaccinated and 27 were unvaccinated. Eight people had received a single shot, and the vaccination status was unknown for 6 people.

The study said that 14 people have died within 28 days of a diagnosis of omicron, ranging in age from 52 to 96 years old.

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