Fears that Omicron ‘will sidestep unvaccinated restrictions and spark tougher restrictions’

Experts say the OMICRON variant “will become dominant in the UK”, amid fears it will cause an increase in unvaccinated cases.

A new Covid wave is most likely to develop in January or February, once the strain has established a foothold in the UK.

Omicron variant already available in UK


Omicron variant already available in UKCredit: AFP

Experts say it could be enough to put pressure on the NHS, as five million people are unvaccinated, and Omicron vaccine can be weakened.

In the worst-affected areas of South Africa, where the strain was first discovered, there has been a significant increase in enrollment, the officials said.

NHS pressures and hospital numbers are the most important metrics the Government uses to look at shutdowns.

Professor Christina Pagel, a mathematician and professor of operations studies at University College London, told The Sun: “In January we will most likely have a new dominant variant, which is Omicron, and everything we know about it says it’s worse – we don’t know how much, but it’s worse.

“We have really high case with Delta now, even with the vaccine and our booster program is going pretty well.

“So adding something worse to an already pretty volatile situation, I think it puts pressure on the NHS.

“For the unvaccinated, I think January and February will be the riskiest times of the month since the start of the pandemic, because there will be a lot of infections around and not a lot of measures. protection, and everyone will go out and mix.”

Omicron is finding a way to spread faster than Delta, based on data from South Africa, where it became the most prominent strain in less than a month.

So far, the new mutant virus has been detected 59 times in the UK. But it’s early days, and public health officials say cases are expected to rise significantly in the future.

Scientists estimate that one of the new 300 Infections are now due to a super-mutation error, up from one in 1,000 about a week ago, based on metrics in Covid tests.

“We won’t notice that in some possible cases until the end of December,” Prof Pagel said.

🔵 Read ours Omicron variant live blog for the latest news

“But it will come, and it will dominate, and it can be a real problem.

“The more we can slow it down, the more people we’ve got boosted, and that’s basically the best defense we have.”


But she cautioned that those without the sting cannot be relied on to hope that those who are vaccinated will protect them.

Yes early instructions that boosters would be able to reduce the risk of individuals becoming severely debilitated.

However, vaccinated people can still pick up and carry the virus and pass it on to others, even those who don’t have the antibodies.

Even people without stings have natural immunity from previous infections, the data suggests they possibility of reinfection with super mutant strains.

Professor Pagel, a member of the independent Sage, said: “I think it’s very likely that even if you are motivated, you can still pass it on to people. So if you haven’t been vaccinated, you can’t rely on someone else not vaccinating you just because they’ve been vaccinated.

“It will find you.”

An amazing 80.8% of people over the age of 12 in the UK received a second dose, while more than a third received a third dose.

But still 20% of people have not had a dose. Some areas are significantly worse than others.

In Camden, Hackney, Luton, Leicester, Birmingham, Manchester and Coventry, for example, between 30 and 40 percent of residents still do not have Covid vaccine dose.

Professor Pagel warned that “if you’ve had an infection before, you can’t rely on that either”.

Scientists in South Africa have reported that Omicron has a “significant” ability to alter immunity in people who have been previously infected with the virus.

Their study estimated the risk of reinfection with circulating Omicrons up to 2.4 times higher than in previous episodes.

Professor Andrew Preston, of the Milner Center for Evolution and the Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath, said it signaled that people with vaccine immunity would also have weakened protection.

“We expect to see a similar pattern emerge with vaccinated people, where Omicron is more likely to infect vaccinated people than Delta,” he told The Sun.

“This is just an infection. One big unknown is what the consequences of this infection are.

“Omicron’s highly infectious nature means it spreads more easily. So everyone is at a higher risk of being exposed to it.

“We suspect that vaccination and those who are specifically boosted will be better able to fight the infection, even if it is worse than against Delta.

“So the unvaccinated people with the lowest resistance will contribute more to the spread. This could also indicate an increase in infections in unvaccinated people. “

Prof Preston said whether to use lockdowns again could become an issue if the disease – caused by the unwanted – spreads significantly among the most vulnerable. , this is a “main concern”.

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday imploring readers Sun to get a Covid booster vaccine to “boost” their immunity.

“Because while our scientists are still working hard to evaluate the new variant, we already know that the best way to prevent it is through vaccination and promotion,” he wrote.

“So book your booster ticket as soon as the NHS says it’s your turn, and make sure your friends and family do too.

“We want to give every adult in the UK a booster shot by the end of next month.”

Professor Van-Tam, deputy medical director, said accepting your boost invitation is “The Best Gift You Can Give” for family and friends and keep them safe at Christmas.

He wrote to The Sun: “If Omicron does not affect our vaccine protection after two doses, the best response would be take boosters (third dose) into a bracelet. ”

The government today said it “has no plans” to mandate vaccinations or use lockdown measures only on unvaccinated people – as is the case with other European countries.

Asked if it was ever mandatory to take the plunge, the Prime Minister’s spokesman told reporters: “We’ve laid out our policy on this and we’ve said that That’s not something we’d recommend.

“You are aware of the changes we have made to social care and to NHS staff, because of the importance of protecting the most vulnerable in our society. But there are no plans above and beyond in that regard.”

As for whether there might be separate lockdown measures for the unvaccinated in the future, the spokesperson said: “I think you can look back at the restrictions we had in the past. and the fact that we’ve never introduced something along those lines.”

South Africa reports more hospital admissions in children since Omicron spread

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