Pfizer stops 70% omicron hospitalisations, finds South Africa study
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Pfizer stops 70% omicron hospitalisations, finds South Africa study

Pfizer stops 70% omicron hospitalisations, finds South Africa study

The protection is maintained across age groups and in the face of a range of chronic illnesses

A two-shot course of Pfizer’s vaccination may offer 70 per cent protection against being hospitalised with the Covid-19 omicron variant, South Africa’s largest medical-insurance provider Discovery said.

The protection is maintained across age groups and in the face of a range of chronic illnesses, Ryan Noach, the chief executive officer of Discovery Health, said at a briefing Tuesday. Pfizer is 33 per cent effective against infection by the omicron variant, he said.

The Discovery study included about 78,000 Covid-19 test results for omicron infections from November 15 to December 7 in South Africa, the epicentre of the current omicron wave. Clinical records, vaccination records and pathology test results were examined.

While there is a relatively high risk of reinfection with omicron, hospital-admission risk linked to omicron infection was 29 per cent lower overall for the general adult population, compared with South Africa’s first wave of infection in mid-2020, Noach said.

The study echoes the initial findings of three other hospital groups that show most Covid patients don’t need oxygen or intensive treatment for the illness. Scientists are still conducting scores of tests in order to get a better grasp of omicron’s risks, and how significant they are will only be known in coming weeks.

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