The efficacy of the 2-dose mRNA vaccine drops to 35% against omicron; boosters increase defense level – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio

New information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that two-dose mRNA vaccines, like Pfizer and Moderna, are only 35% effective against the omicron variant of COVID-19.

The new data came from South Africa and the UK, where the omicron variant was first detected and reported by the World Health Organization.

“A booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine restores the vaccine’s effectiveness against the infection to 75%,” the CDC said on Monday. “Vaccination against COVID-19 decreases the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. “

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The news coupled with the CDC’s announcement to reduce isolation and quarantine recommendations from 10 days to 5 days for certain situations has raised questions about the next step for COVID-19 in our region, particularly with omicron.

“At some point, this virus could mutate into a form that is no longer serious,” said Dr Jeffrey Weinstein, head of patient safety at Kettering Health Network. “That strain, Omicron, may not be that one. It really seems more and more that this is not the right one ”

Weinstein said viruses can work in two ways when they mutate.

“You can see a virus mutate and get more severe and you can see a virus mutate and lose what we call pathogenicity, its ability to cause disease,” Weinstein said.

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Miami Valley Hospital chief medical officer Dr Roberto Colon said vaccination is still key to protecting against serious illness and is even warning people not to let their guard down after reports that the omicron variant caused less serious illness than the delta variant.

“We see a lot of people ending up in the hospital who are not vaccinated, we still see a lot of people who are seriously ill,” Colon told News Center 7’s Mike Campbell. better chance of either avoiding this virus altogether or just making it a nuisance. “

The CDC’s decision to reduce isolation and quarantine times comes as the government agency said “the change is driven by science showing that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in life. of illness, usually within 1-2 days of symptom onset and 2-3 days after symptom onset.

“Therefore, people who test positive should self-isolate for 5 days and, if they are asymptomatic at that time, they can leave isolation if they can continue to mask themselves for 5 days to minimize the risk. to infect others, ”the CDC said.

Sara H. Byrd