A possible scenario is that Omicron makes the coronavirus less scary, Hadassah’s Prof. Dror Mevorach said.
New data published on Saturday suggest that the Omicron corona variant is more contagious but not as dangerous as other variants, according to Prof. Dror Mevorach, a senior physician from Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center.
“We have to say this with a lot of caution, but if we look at the currently available information, there is reason to believe that the variant is spreading fast, but maybe it is not so dangerous,” Mevorach said.
According to South Africa’s Tshwane District Omicron Variant Patient Profile – Tshwane being the epicenter of the Omicron outbreak – 80% of hospital admissions in the previous two weeks were people below age 50, the vast majority of whom did not require oxygen support.
This can be explained in several ways, including the lower age of the patients, or that the course of the Omicron variant is milder.
Some experts suggested that if Omicron is more infectious but milder, it could make corona more similar to the flu. Mevorach agreed, saying “it would really be good news for the world. I think that we have had indications of vaccinated people getting infected, but it appears that their disease is mild.”
If this is so, he said different scenarios might emerge.
“We might need to accept that some people are going to get sick and treat them with the antiviral treatments that are about to become available, or the vaccines might be slightly tweaked to be more effective,” he said. “However, I’m not really sure that we will need to do it. The first option might be good enough.”
Mevorach also expressed optimism that the protection granted by the booster will last for a long time.
“What I have seen in immunological studies is that the booster really increases the antibodies, and I think it will give a longer-lasting immunity,” he said.