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Herd immunity by Omicron could end the pandemic

1 year 11 months ago - 1 year 11 months ago #1 by Editor
Mass infection by Omicron offers hope of herd immunity that could end the pandemic

The Omicron variant may spell the end of the coronavirus pandemic, one of Denmark's top public health officials has claimed.

. . . we may be experiencing the last wave of the pandemic as mass Omicron infections could provide a good level of herd immunity.

She said Covid will continue to have a hold over people's lives for the next two months but infections would then start to subside.

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She added: “This may be what is going to lift us out of the pandemic, so that this becomes the last wave.”


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1 year 10 months ago - 1 year 10 months ago #2 by Editor
Covid is now killing HALF as many people in UK per day as a bad flu year

Right now just 130 people are dying from the coronavirus every day in England at what is believed to be the peak of the Omicron outbreak, compared to 1,300 last January before vaccines were widely available.

Daily deaths have barely moved since the start of autumn, despite infection rates more than quadrupling over the same time following the emergence of the ultra-transmissible variant.

For comparison, Government estimates show there were more than 400 influenza deaths per day at the peak of the last bad flu season in 2017/18, and almost 300 daily fatalities the previous year. Just like this winter, hospitals were forced to cancel routine operations and patients were told to steer clear of A&E units during both of those outbreaks.

Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert from the University of East Anglia, said the figures showed that the burden of Covid is now comparable to flu. He told MailOnline Covid would 'almost certainly' get weaker every year as people develop natural immunity and eventually become a common cold that kills only the very vulnerable further down the line.

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1 year 10 months ago #3 by Editor
Omicron may not be the final variant, but it may be the final variant of concern

After infection with any virus, the immune system adapts by making antibodies that stick to the virus to neutralise it, and killer T-cells that destroy infected cells. Antibodies are pieces of protein that stick to the specific molecular shape of the virus, and killer T-cells recognise infected cells via molecular shape as well. SARS-CoV-2 can therefore evade the immune system by mutating sufficiently that its molecular shape changes beyond the immune system’s recognition.This is why omicron is so apparently successful at infecting people with previous immunity, either from vaccines or infections with other variants – the mutations that allow the spike to bind to ACE2 more strongly also reduce the ability of antibodies to bind to the virus and neutralise it. Pfizer’s data suggests that T-cells should respond similarly to omicron as to previous variants, which aligns with the observation that omicron has a lower fatality rate in South Africa, where most people have immunity.Importantly for humanity, past exposure still seems to protect against severe disease and death, leaving us with a “compromise” where the virus can replicate and reinfect, but we do not get as severely sick as the first time.

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We might have COVID season each winter in the same way we have flu season now. Influenza viruses can also have a similar pattern of mutation over time, known as “antigenic drift”, leading to reinfections. Each year’s new flu viruses are not necessarily better than last year’s, just sufficiently different. Perhaps the best evidence for this eventuality for SARS-CoV-2 is that 229E, a coronavirus that causes the common cold, does this already.

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The disease might very likely be mild as some past exposure creates immunity that reduces the likelihood of hospitalisation and death. Most people will get infected the first time as a child, which could occur before or after a vaccine, and subsequent reinfections will barely be

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