Progressive politicians in Europe in the United States are pushing for more COVID pokes and are looking to re-instate draconian lockdowns again.
Experts say the number of cases is rising so rapidly due to the spread of the highly-contagious Omicron variant, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says accounts for anywhere from 40 to 70 percent of the new cases in the US.
At the same time, however, the number of daily deaths has halved from 2,800 to 1,400 between Wednesday and Thursday. The drop comes after multiple studies showed that Omicron was likely to cause up to 80 percent fewer hospitalizations than Delta.
Some scientists though argue that rolling out vaccines every three-to-four months simply isn’t ‘doable’ and may not even be necessary because of Omicron, which some believe will speed up the process of endemicity and consign days of sky-high hospitalization and death figures to history.
They are calling for more data on dosing gaps between boosters before pressing ahead with plans to administer fourth jabs. Some experts claim the benefits of extra jabs are minimal because their primary purpose – preventing deaths and hospitalizations – has barely waned after a year and several Covid variants, effectively meaning boosters are adding to an already high base level immunity.
These medical professionals are hopeful Omicron will be the variant that will embed the pandemic. Their optimism of it ushering in the end of the pandemic stage of Covid was sparked by a South African study into Covid death rates in the nation’s Omicron wave.
The researchers examined records of 450 patients hospitalized in the City of Tshwane, in the ‘ground zero province of Gauteng, since the extremely-transmissible variant took off in the country. Only 4.5 percent of patients hospitalized with Covid in the last month died from the virus. For comparison, the rate stood at around 21.3 percent earlier in the pandemic
Scientists from South Africa’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the University of Pretoria, who carried out the research, said it shows ‘a decoupling of cases, hospitalizations and deaths compared to previous waves’.
Omicron could be a ‘harbinger of the end of the darkest days of the pandemic and could usher in the virus’s endemic phase, the team wrote in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.
‘If Omicron is an attenuated strain already on its way to endemicity then later versions maybe even milder and the need for vaccination for an otherwise fit adult might recede,’ he said.
‘You have to remember that making you very sick is no good to the virus at all, all it “wants” is to transmit, so virus evolution will tend towards a less severe strain which you will pass around as you will struggle on with work, etc much as we do for common colds.’
Professor Ian Jones, a virologist at the University of Reading, said descriptions of Omicron being a ‘natural vaccine’ were right.
He said that while any Covid variant boosts immunity the fact Omicron was highly transmissible yet milder worked to help boost population immunity.
‘Whatever version you were infected with your immunity would be boosted,’ he told MailOnline. ‘That mild bit suits us because it means we can get immunity without, or with much less, risk.’
The logic behind the argument is that as Omicron is highly transmissible but milder than other variants, it can give an immunity boost without causing as much serious illness, with some data suggesting a combination of infection than vaccination providing the best type of immunity in the long run.