A study of some of the first breakout cases of COVID-19 caused by a highly contagious omicron variant found that booster shots of mRNA vaccines failed to prevent this strain, even though infections included only mild or moderate symptoms, confirming that they are effective in preventing serious illness and death.
The study involved a group of seven Germans visiting Cape Town, South Africa who had their first documented cases of COVID-19 between late November and early December after receiving three doses of the vaccine, including at least two shots of mRNA developed by Pfizer.
With German partner BioNTech SE
The group consisted of five white women and two white men aged 25 to 39, four of whom were participating in clinical training in hospitals, while the others were on vacation. All seven developed respiratory symptoms between November 30 and December 2 and tested positive for the omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The study was approved by Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town.
“These findings support the need for updated vaccines to provide better protection against accidental omicron infection and underscore the need to maintain non-pharmacological measures,” the authors wrote.
Earlier this week, a preliminary study conducted by a hospital in Israel found that A second booster dose failed to block the omicron, Although it did raise the antibodies to a higher level than after the first booster dose.
In the United States, Omicron has pushed new cases and hospitalizations to record levels, According to the New York Times tracker. Cases average nearly 800,000 per day, while hospitalizations are over 158,000. This number includes hospitalized patients who have had other symptoms and have tested positive for the virus.
And while case levels appear to have peaked in some of the states hardest hit by omicron – New York among them – the national rate remains at a record high and deaths, which lag in cases and hospitalizations, is above 1,900. That’s a 50% increase over the past two weeks. This means that the US suffers losses on the scale of 9/11 every two days.
Other COVID-19 news you should know:
• The National Institutes of Health on Wednesday updated its data COVID-19 treatment guidelines For patients with mild to moderate forms of COVID-19 who are at high risk of developing the disease. The new guidelines now include recently authorized antivirals developed by Pfizer and Merck.
With Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, not GlaxoSmithKline
and Vir Biotechnologies
Sotrofimab is the only monoclonal antibody believed to be effective against omicron, added a three-day course of Gilead Sciences.
Phychlor as a treatment option. The committee suggests that doctors first use Pfizer’s Paxlovid, then sotrovimab, then Veklury, and the last option should be molnupiravir, the Merck/Ridgeback drug.
• The French government will reveal a timetable for easing COVID restrictions later on Thursday, Reuters reported, Quoting spokesman Gabriel Attal, who warned that the Omicron wave had not yet passed. Atal said France’s new vaccine pass-through rules would help loosen the rules even as infections continued to increase. France reported nearly half a million coronavirus infections on Wednesday, leaving the seven-day average of infections at 320,000.
• The conservative-led Austrian government offers a national lottery to encourage anti-vaccination, Reuters reported separately. The news came hours before Parliament was scheduled to pass a bill that would mandate a national adult vaccine. Nearly 72% of Austria’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, one of the lowest rates in Western Europe. Every 10 tickets will give you a €500 ($568) gift voucher.
• Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, an opponent of vaccine mandates, has tested positive for COVID, The Washington Post reported. It is unclear if Paxton was vaccinated or when he was infected, and his office reportedly did not respond to a request for comment. Paxton opposed making vaccinations mandatory for health care workers at facilities receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding, troops in the Texas National Guard and employees in Head Start programs.
This is what the numbers say
The global number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen to over 338.3 million, and the death toll is now over 5.56 million, According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
The United States leads the world with 68.6 million cases and 857,781 deaths.
The world recorded a record number of more than 3 million COVID cases per day between January 13 and January 19, AFP reported, In the latest sign of how fast Omicron is spreading.
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine tracker It shows that about 209.5 million people living in the United States have been fully vaccinated, which is 63.1% of the total population.
About 81.7 million booster doses have been received, which is 39% of fully vaccinated people.