octors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Monday said Omicron variant causes mild illness in individuals who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
“If you have received both doses of Covid-19 vaccine, you are less likely to get severe disease from the new variant,” said DAK President and Influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
The DAK President said early reports suggest people who are vaccinated do not get complications with Omicron.
In South Africa, vaccinated people are experiencing mild symptoms with the new variant. Most of the patients are treated at home and do not need hospitalization. People who are getting sick enough to need hospitalization with omicron are those who are unvaccinated.
Among the initial 70 cases reported from Europe, half of the patients had no symptoms and the other half had mild symptoms. There were no cases of severe disease, hospitalization or death. Most of these patients were fully vaccinated.
India has so far reported 21 cases of omicron and all cases till now have either been asymptomatic or accompanied by mild symptoms of the disease. Majority of them had received both doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
“While Omicron causes infections even in fully vaccinated individuals, vaccines still offer protection against severe disease and prevent people from hospitalization and even death,” he said.
Dr Hassan said though early reports are encouraging, but the number of patients so far remains too low – and their infections too recent – to draw firm conclusions on whether omicron leads to milder or severe disease cases of covid-19 than other variants.
“Moreover, the cases have mostly been seen in young people – so we are not sure whether the variant will cause more severe symptoms in older adults and vulnerable,” he added.
“We need more data and it will take several weeks for us to know how much more contagious Omicron is and what are its implications on those who get infected,” said Dr Nisar.