New Study: One-Fifth of Thrice-Jabbed Swedes Became Infected With Omicron Within Two Months
As concluded by researchers at Danderyd Hospital in Sweden, the Omicron strain effectively gets past antibodies. While most of the patients surveyed only had mild symptoms, they remained infectious for up to nine days.
More than one in five people tested positive for the Omicron strain of the COVID-19 virus within two months of receiving their third dose or booster shot, a fresh Swedish study shows.
The study is part of the large COMMUNITY project at Danderyd Hospital aimed at examining and comparing immunity after COVID-19 infection and after vaccination. During this stage of the study, 375 hospital staff were PCR-tested regularly, regardless of symptoms.
“Omicron gets past the antibodies. We see that those who become infected had as high levels of antibodies as those who didn't become infected”, Charlotte Thålin, assistant chief physician and the study's research leader, told national broadcaster SVT.
Many of those who ultimately tested positive had symptoms ranging from mild to none whatsoever, yet still had high virus levels. Over half of the participants tested positive for 11 days and remained infectious for up to nine days.
“This is the first time that it has been possible to follow the virus levels in the airways during an ongoing Omicron infection, and it was surprising that so many remained positive for so long and had such high virus levels even though they had just received their third dose”, Charlotte Thålin mused.
When asked whether it is still worth vaccinating when the protection levels promised by vaccine producers initially are obviously failing, Thålin remained adamant that the jab still protects against serious illness, whereas Omicron can be dangerous for the unvaccinated as well as for the elderly and risk groups.
“And in the grand scheme of things, we want to reduce the spread of infection because the higher the spread of infection in a well-vaccinated population, the greater the risk that we get new mutations and new virus strains”, Thålin concluded.
Sweden has an overall vaccination rate of over 73 percent, far above the worldwide rate of under 59 percent.
Since the start of the pandemic in late 2019, COVID-19 has developed numerous strains of varying lethality, infecting 494 million people worldwide and resulting in over six million deaths. Due to contrasting policies employed, various parts of the world are currently at different stages of the pandemic. Whereas most of Western Europe has lifted restrictions and are re-opening, China maintains its zero COVID policy and continues to impose lockdowns.