Omicron vs. the Unvaccinated and the Vaccinated

The COVID-19 virus’ highly contagious Omicron variant often runs amok and bypasses any immunological protections. Recent data from Canada and the U.K. shows that breakthrough omicron infection are less deadly than unvaccinated first-timers.

According to the Ontario Public Health Authorities, 2093 and 288 patients were being treated in ICUs and hospitals for Omicron Variant Infections yesterday. Unvaccinated persons have a hospitalization rate of 532.7, while those who were vaccinated at least twice a year had a rate of 105.9. This means that 80.1 percent of those who were vaccinated with at least 2 doses are less likely to be hospitalized.

Unvaccinated persons have an ICU occupancy rate of 135.6, while those with two COVID-19 vaccinations are only 9.2. Vaccination reduces ICU risks by 93.2 percent.

The United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA), in a similar analysis, found that Omicron patients who received two doses of vaccine were at lower risk (65% less) than those who did not receive any. The risk of being admitted to hospital for Omicron cases was lower among people who received 3 vaccine doses (81% less).

UKHSA also examines the effectiveness of vaccines against the omicron and delta variants. While two vaccine doses are effective against the Delta variant, protection from the Omicron variant is waning fast. A third dose significantly increases the immunity system’s capacity to fight and decrease the severity of omicron infection for approximately 3 months. It is good to know that vaccines provide greater protection against hospitalization than they do against symptoms. With a booster dose of vaccine, the effectiveness for hospitalization can be as high as 90 percent.

This is in line with the New York State Health Department’s most recent findings. The daily rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 is 4.56 in fully-vaccinated individuals, and 58.27 in unvaccinated. That is 92.3 percent of the time that COVID-19 vaccines prevent hospitalizations.

These findings are supported by other data taken from the United States. Greenville, North Carolina is an example. The Daily ReflectorAccording to reports, 101 out of 120 COVID positive inpatients admitted at Vidant Health hospitals had never been vaccinated. In addition, 30 COVID ICU residents were also not vaccinated. Similarly, Block Club Chicago reports that 85 percent of people hospitalized for COVID in Illinois—and 90 percent admitted to ICUs—are unvaccinated. The state health office in Louisiana reported that 76% of COVID-19-infected patients were unvaccinated. Around 70% of COVID-19-infected patients in Massachusetts’ Baystate Health system are not vaccinated.

Some good news for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated is that the omicron variant seems to cause less severe disease than earlier versions of COVID-19. Still, given the steep rise in the omicron wave, it would be wise for the medically eligible unvaccinated to now take responsibility to protect themselves, their families, their friends, and their fellow Americans by getting their shots.