A primary series of one of four approved COVID-19 vaccines offers 50% protection against hospitalization from the Omicron variant, and the protection level rises to 80% after a booster, according to the WHO’s latest technical brief on Omicron.
The Omicron variant has been detected in 171 countries across all six WHO regions, the WHO’s sixth brief on Omicron, published on Friday, reports.
WHO’s current evidence shows that Omicron-related risks remain high, with the strain spreading more rapidly than Delta and causing much higher numbers of incidence than previous variants, but the risk of severe disease and death appear to be much lower than with previous strains
While hospitalizations remain high, posing “overwhelming demands on healthcare systems,” the report notes the above-mentioned protection against hospitalization of full courses of the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Astra Zeneca vaccines, and also notes the increased protection from a booster shot.
CDC confirms vaccine protection
The CDC announced in their report, published Friday, that individuals who were administered a second mRNA vaccine dose less than 180 days prior to medical encounters appeared to show significantly higher protection against infection in comparison to those who received the shot more than 180 days ago.
“These findings underscore the importance of receiving the third dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine to prevent both moderately severe and severe COVID-19, especially while the Omicron variant is the predominant circulating variant and when the effectiveness of two doses of mRNA vaccines is significantly reduced against this variant,” the CDC report reads.
The CDC urged all unvaccinated individuals to get inoculated as soon as possible, adding that those who have received mRNA vaccines are advised to receive a booster shot when they are eligible.