Coronavirus: More ‘breakthrough cases’ likely among vaccinated but jabs still effective against hospitalisation - Paphos Investments

Coronavirus: More ‘breakthrough cases’ likely among vaccinated but jabs still effective against hospitalisation

Coronavirus: More ‘breakthrough cases’ likely among vaccinated but jabs still effective against hospitalisation

The health ministry on Wednesday said that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) continues to monitor emerging data on the effectiveness of vaccines against Covid-19, including disease caused by the Omicron variant which is now spreading rapidly across the EU.

Although Omicron appears to be more infectious than other variants, studies from South Africa, UK and some EU countries show a lower risk of being hospitalised after infection with Omicron; based on these studies, the risk is currently estimated to be between a third and half of the risk with the Delta variant, the ministry said.

“Results from recently published studies show that vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease is lower for Omicron than for other variants and tends to wane over time. As a result, more vaccinated people are likely to develop breakthrough disease due to Omicron,” the announcement said.

However, these studies also show that vaccination continues to provide a high level of protection against severe disease and hospitalisation linked to the Omicron variant.

The latest evidence, which includes real-world effectiveness data, also suggests that people who have had a third vaccine are better protected than those who have only received their primary course. Data from South Africa indicate that people who have received two doses have up to 70 per cent protection for hospitalisation; similar data from the UK shows that while protection declines a few months after vaccination, protection from hospitalisation rises again to 90 per cent after a third vaccine.

The announcement did not say how long the protection from the third shot would last.
The ministry said the EMA would continue to review data on vaccine effectiveness and severity of the disease, as well as the evolving landscape in terms of circulating variants and natural exposure to Omicron, as they become available.

The outcome of these assessments may impact future vaccination strategies recommended by experts in EU/EEA Member States.

“The EMA emphasises that vaccination remains an essential part of the approach to fighting the ongoing pandemic. In line with recommendations by national authorities, efforts should continue to increase full vaccination uptake in individuals who are currently unvaccinated or partially vaccinated and to accelerate the roll-out of booster doses,” it concluded.

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