UKHSA : 9.5 per cent of people catching Omicron had previously had Covid

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UKHSA : 9.5% of people catching Omicron had previously had Covid (PA Archive)
UKHSA : 9.5% of people catching Omicron had previously had Covid (PA Archive)

The UKHSA said 9.5 per cent of people catching Omicron had previously had Covid - a much higher reinfection rate than previously.

This is also likely to be a substantial underestimate of how well Omicron evades immunity from prior infection.

Dr Jenny Harries, UKHSA chief executive said: “Our latest analysis shows an encouraging early signal that people who contract the Omicron variant may be at a relatively lower risk of hospitalisation than those who contract other variants. However, it should be noted both that this is early data and more research is required to confirm these findings.

“Cases are currently very high in the UK, and even a relatively low proportion requiring hospitalisation could result in a significant number of people becoming seriously ill. The best way that you can protect yourself is to come forward for your first two doses of vaccine, or your booster jab and do everything you can to stop onward transmission of the infection.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This new UKHSA data on Omicron is promising – while two doses of the vaccine aren’t enough, we know boosters offer significant protection against the variant and early evidence suggests this strain may be less severe than Delta.

“However, cases of the variant continue to rise at an extraordinary rate – already surpassing the record daily number in the pandemic. Hospital admissions are increasing, and we cannot risk the NHS being overwhelmed.

“This is early-stage analysis and we continue to monitor the data hour by hour. It is still too early to determine next steps, so please stay cautious this Christmas and get your booster as soon as possible to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

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