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Omicron melts vaccine protection “like snow in the sun” | Coronavirus: Ontario

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By the end of November, a properly vaccinated person was 90% protected against infection.

However, during the month of December, this percentage fell by about 75 percentage points.

Arrival of Omicron variant melts vaccine protection like snow in the sun, according to Dr. Peter Jüni, Scientific Director of the Ontario Scientific Advisory Group on COVID-19.

A graph illustrates the dramatic drop in the rate of protection against infection and against hospitalization.

The protection against infection provided by two doses of the vaccine dropped dramatically during the month of December.

Photo: Ontario Scientific Advisory Group on COVID-19

In fact, there is no longer a distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated people in the data on new infections., explained Dr Jüni.

Data from the province’s scientific table also suggests that vaccine protection gradually eroded over the month of December, as the Omicron variant gained more and more ground.

This is nothing new. Vaccine protection has been declining for a while, confirmed Dr Jüni, who is also a professor at the University of Toronto.

Experts carefully study hospitalization rate

Unlike the rate of new infections in the province, hospitalization and ICU admission rates remain fairly stable, but that could change in the coming days.

Most hospital patients struggle with the Delta variant, recalled Dr Jüni.

Typically, the hospitalization rate climbs around ten days after a surge in new cases.

A quote from Peter Jüni, Head of the Ontario Scientific Advisory Group on COVID-19

The doctor expects the number of people hospitalized with the Omicron variant to increase over the next few days, but acknowledges that it is difficult to predict by how many.

CBC reached Dr Jüni by videoconference.  He is in a sparsely furnished room and wears headphones.  He smirks a little and isn't looking directly at the camera.

Dr Peter Jüni was on the CBC afternoon news show on Monday.

Photo: TurnedNews.com

Dr Peter Jüni strongly recommends giving an extra dose of vaccine to maintain immunity against COVID-19. It takes two weeks after receiving a third dose to gain the immunity conferred by a dose of vaccine, he says.

The expert admits to understanding why some people question the effectiveness of vaccines in the context of the appearance of a variant like Omicron, but he recalls that the main goal of vaccination has always been to avoid worst-case scenarios.

If everything continues as planned, the hospitalization rate will remain relatively stable, despite the surge in the number of new cases, he explained.

Ontario recorded 9,418 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliot said on Twitter.

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