All Britons ‘will be exposed to Omicron in the coming weeks’ as NHS ramps up boost drive

BRITS have been warned they are most likely exposed to Omicron in the coming weeks, as experts say two stabs is not enough protection.

Variant is developing at a rate never seen before and two doses of Covid vaccine provides limited defense.

People line up outside a Covid vaccination bus next to Sloane Square, London, on Saturday


People line up outside a Covid vaccination bus next to Sloane Square, London, on Saturday

Eleanor Riley, a professor of immunology and infectious disease, said Omicron is spreading so quickly that people are “most likely” to encounter someone infected with the disease unless they are “living the life of a hermit”.

It comes at a time when people are required to work from home but continue to celebrate Christmas.

Professor Riley told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Omicron is spreading so quickly that, I think, unless you’re living the life of a hermit, you’re very likely to catch it in the next few weeks.

“I don’t think anyone should go around thinking they’re not going to catch it, I think the situation has changed.”

It comes as the Health Secretary has warned that Covid cases in London have been almost dominated by Omicron.

Sajid Javid told Sky News that Omicron is spreading at an “extraordinary” rate and now accounts for around 40% of infections in London.

According to data from the UK Health and Security Service, 20% of Covid cases in the Southeast are due to Omicron and 12.3% in East England.

It happened after experts warned that Omicron “Will find” these unvaccinated people.

🔵 Read ours Omicron’s live blog for latest update

But just two doses of Covid jab are not enough to protect against the strain of the bacteria, UK data shows.

Boosted shot is the best defense against Omicron, with early data showing it pushing efficiency up to 75%.

More than 40% of adults in the UK have received booster vaccines but the Prime Minister has shifted his aim to make the shots available to all adults.nd of december.

Professor Riley, a University of Edinburgh scholar, also warned “a lot of people” could still be hospitalized even if Omicron turns out to be more peaceful, as the initial data shows.

She said: “There is a huge ‘if’ about this, ‘wouldn’t it be softer?’. I think it is very dangerous to compare the data from South Africa with the UK.


“Even if it is milder and therefore a smaller percentage of people who are infected end up being hospitalized, because so many people will come across this virus, even a small percentage of so many people. hospitalized. . ”

It came as Mr Javid revealed the first hospitalizations with Omicron had occurred.

He said in an interview this morning that in the UK there are About 10 people are hospitalized with Omicron, with more in Scotland.

Mr Javid told BBC Breakfast: “The number of infections doubles every two or three days, there’s going to be a tidal wave of infections.”

Dr Susan Hopkins, UKHSA’s chief medical adviser, also confirmed that they are receiving reports of individuals being hospitalized in the past few days with this variant.

She told BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday: “We’re also seeing hospitals diagnosing more and more people coming to their emergency departments and we expect to see that number increase. I still There have been no reports of deaths.

“But it’s really important to remember that it’s been just over two weeks since we detected the first case in the UK, and hospitalizations start to be recorded after about two weeks and deaths are usually after. three to four weeks.

“I think it’s too early to make any assumptions at this point.”

Dr Kit Yates, senior lecturer in mathematical biology at the University of Bath, said hospitalizations could reach 10,000 people a day.

He told Sky News: “If we double every three days, that number could grow to 100,000 by the end of the month.

“If it doubles every two days – and we think it’s somewhere around – then we could be talking about 900,000 cases a day by the end of the month, and those are the cases we’re catching, no missing cases.

“And certainly in terms of hospitalizations, there are some estimates from Denmark that say about 1% of Omicron cases require hospitalization, so if we go up to a million cases, then we can talk about 10,000 hospital admissions per day, more than double what we saw last January.

“So that’s a concern for sure.”

Experts from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) predict that the virus will cause thousands of other hospitalizations, depending on how it is resolved.

In calculations published on Saturday, the group predicted a peak of between 2,410 and 7,190 daily hospital admissions in the UK.

For comparison, the January high was 3,800.

The worst-case scenario assumes that this variant evades the vaccine with high rates as well as being effective against the variant from the weakened booster.

Experts – who source models for the Government’s scientific advice – say if lockdown-style measures were used from December, instead of the current Plan B, hundreds of thousands of cases would enter hospital can be avoided.

But data-driven models are now out of date, with UKHSA revealing a vaccine against Omicron was more effective than expected.

Professor Mark Woolhouse, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, University of Edinburgh, said the numbers were not a “sure prediction” as there was only “slim data” for Omicron.

Fierce scramble for boosters as walking malls are hit by huge queues All Britons ‘will be exposed to Omicron in the coming weeks’ as NHS ramps up boost drive


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