United Kingdom study shows Omicron hospitalization risk less than one third of Delta

A study out of the United Kingdom showed the omicron variant is about two-thirds less likely than the delta variant to land a patient in the hospital.

The study, conducted by the UK Health Security Agency, also found that vaccines broadly work well to protect people from severe illness from the omicron variant, and that a booster shot greatly increases that effectiveness. 

The study explains, “When the reduced risk of hospitalisation was combined with vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease, the vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation was estimated as 52% after one dose, 72% 2 to 24 weeks after dose 2, 52% 25+ weeks after dose 2 and 88% 2 weeks after a booster dose.”

However, officials warn not to underestimate how omicron affects vulnerable populations. “We all want this disease to be milder, but the population it affected so far is the younger. How it behaves in the elderly population, the vulnerable — we don’t know yet,” Dr. Abdi Mahamud, the WHO’s incident manager for Covid, said during a news briefing in Geneva.

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