Omicron as severe as previous COVID variants, large study finds

Author of the article: The Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV2 virus is intrinsically as severe as previous variants, unlike assumptions made in previous studies that it was more transmissible but less severe, a large study https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-1601788/v1 in the United States has found. “We found that the risks of hospitalization and mortality were nearly identical between…

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Second COVID booster shot does little to stop Omicron, study finds

Israeli healthcare workers who were boosted with a fourth shot of COVID-19 vaccine at the height of the Omicron wave were only marginally more protected against reinfection than their peers who had received three jabs of vaccine, researchers reported Wednesday.Compared to getting two initial doses and one booster shot of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine,…

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‘Natural Immunity’ Holds Up Against Severe Omicron Cases in Qatar Study

Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection was estimated to be less effective at preventing reinfection with the Omicron variant compared to prior variants, though it did appear to hold up against severe disease, researchers in Qatar found. The effectiveness of previous infection in preventing reinfection was estimated at 56.0% (95% CI 50.6-60.9) against the Omicron variant, as compared…

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U.S. coronavirus deaths surpass 900000, driven in part by Omicron surge

FILE PHOTOS: The mother of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient stands bedside the patient at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley California, U.S., February 1, 2022. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comFeb 4 (Reuters) – The coronavirus pandemic reached a grim new milestone…

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Omicron variant: Pfizer starts clinical trial for modified Covid vaccine

Pfizer and BioNTech announced Tuesday that they have started a clinical trial testing a modified Covid-19 vaccine to protect against the supercontagious omicron variant of the coronavirus.The drugmakers said they aim to enroll up to 1,420 healthy adults ages 18 to 55 in the trial, which will evaluate whether the omicron-specific vaccine is safe and generates…

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White House says it will distribute 400 million free N95 masks to protect against omicron

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration will make 400 million N95 masks available for free at thousands of locations across the country, a White House official said Wednesday, as health experts stress the importance of high-quality face coverings to protect against the omicron variant of the coronavirus.The plan consists of working with pharmacies and community health…

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4th Vaccine Shot Likely ‘Not Good Enough’ To Protect Against Omicron, Israeli Researcher Says

Topline A fourth Covid-19 vaccine dose may provide only limited protection against infection from the omicron variant, an Israeli researcher studying the shots said Monday based on preliminary findings, as a number of countries roll out the extra booster shots to at-risk groups. Moshe Geva Rosso receives a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on…

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Omicron-specific vaccine is coming but ‘may not matter—everybody’s going to be infected,’ says expert

An omicron-specific Covid vaccine will be ready by March but some experts warn it could be “too late” due to the variant’s highly transmissible nature.On Monday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC that its vaccine with BioNTech that targets omicron — and other variants that are currently circulating — will be ready for distribution by…

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Many patients hospitalized for other ailments, also testing positive for Covid

As the super contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus spreads, hospitals are seeing a growing trend — patients admitted for other ailments are also testing positive for Covid-19. Doctors say it may mean more people have asymptomatic or undiagnosed disease than the current data show.Across New York-Presbyterian’s 10 campuses, just less than half of patients…

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Omicron Variant Now Linked To 95% Of U.S. Covid Cases, CDC Estimates

Topline Nearly all new U.S. Covid-19 cases last week were linked to the omicron coronavirus variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday, as the highly transmissible new strain has quickly overtaken the delta variant and sparked new surges nationwide. People wait in line for Covid-19 tests in lower Manhattan on December 23,…

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Omicron isn’t overtaking Delta as quickly as the CDC thought—and that’s bad news

COVID-19 case rates in the US are swelling, and the highly infectious Omicron variant is raising alarms around the world. But the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now says that the number of infections caused by Omicron in the US were highly overestimated.  The CDC previously reported that the Omicron variant was…

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New study finds booster protection against Omicron drops at 10 weeks

Booster shot effectiveness against the Omicron coronavirus variant wanes faster than it does against Delta, according to new data collected in the United Kingdom. The data shows the booster vaccines’ protection against Omicron drops significantly after about 10 weeks.  In a report published Thursday, the UK Health Security Agency released data on 147,597 Delta and…

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CDC recommends shorter COVID isolation, quarantine for all

U.S. health officials on Monday cut isolation restrictions for Americans who catch the coronavirus from 10 to five days, and similarly shortened the time that close contacts need to quarantine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said the guidance is in keeping with growing evidence that people with the coronavirus are most infectious in…

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Airlines Cancel 1,800 U.S. Flights Over Christmas Weekend With More Staff Out Sick Amid Omicron Surge

Topline Airlines have canceled 1,900 flights within, into or out of the U.S. over Christmas weekend—including over 900 flights on Saturday—disrupting some travelers’ holiday plans as carriers struggle with staff shortages amid the spread of the omicron variant. Travelers wait in line to check-in at LaGuardia Airport in New York, on December 24, 2021. On…

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

Christmas shoppers in London on Dec. 23, 2021.Hasan Esen | Anadolu Agency | Getty ImagesLONDON — 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…

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