Covid Update: U.S. cases surpass summer delta peak, Astra-Zeneca booster fights Omicron
Preliminary data suggests omicron is significantly more contagious than previous versions of the coronavirus.
Preliminary data suggests omicron is significantly more contagious than previous versions of the coronavirus. The latest surge is the second-largest wave of the pandemic so far, behind the spike in infections between November 2020 and January 2021. On Jan. 12, the United States marked a record seven-day rolling average of 248,209 cases.
Even before omicron was detected, coronavirus-related hospitalizations were rising in the United States. About 46,000 people were in hospitals for covid-19 in early November, compared with nearly 70,000 now. The Biden administration and many state governments have been pushing immunized Americans to get booster vaccinations. The makers of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines say additional doses provide significant protection against infection by omicron.
Meanwhile, a third shot of AstraZeneca’s vaccine following two doses “significantly boosted” antibody levels to protect against the omicron variant, the company said Thursday, citing an Oxford University lab study.
The booster raised antibody levels higher than those in people who had recovered from infections from previous versions of the coronavirus, it said. The pharmaceutical company headquartered in England said the study, which has not yet undergone a peer review, showed “neutralising antibody levels against omicron following a third dose boost … were broadly similar to levels achieved after two doses against the delta variant.”
© Copyright LaPresse