As the new variant Omicron can invade vaccine immunity, many people began to worry about the protection offered by these Covid vaccines. However, the University of North Carolina has come up with a study that proves the long-lasting protection offered by Covid vaccines. Even though the vaccines may not prevent the infection completely, they will protect against severe outcomes.
Covid Vaccines Give Long-Lasting Protection From Severe Outcomes
The recent data regarding hospitalizations has indicated the same trend wherein people who were vaccinated did not suffer from serious complications and had only mild symptoms.
In this regard, it is safe to say that new infections are happening due to variants that are more transmissible and not due to a lack of protection from vaccines. The vaccines offered good protection for close to a year from severe outcomes.
This should motivate those who have not yet taken the vaccine to get them now, as infections are also possible in the future due to new mutations. This should also encourage elders to go for booster shots to protect them from hospitalizations due to the Omicron surge. The study was done on a large population of more than 10 million people in North Carolina for more than a year.
The study considered the vaccine protection offered by all the three approved vaccines in the US. Even though the study does not consider the data available after the emergence of the Omicron variant, it is safe to assume that vaccines save people from ICU admissions to a large extent. At this stage, it is important to note that Omicron produces milder symptoms when compared to Delta, and the results of this study are likely to hold good even for the new variant.
Among the three vaccines, the Pfizer vaccine offered protection to the level of about 96% for the first two months, and it was close to 90% even at the end of seven months. Similarly, the initial protection offered by the Moderna vaccine was around 97% which came down to about 94% later. In this manner, vaccines were effective even after many months. The biggest outcome of this study is that vaccines were more effective in avoiding deaths due to Covid infections. Even though some people got infected after taking the vaccines, they did not experience severe complications, and the mortality rate was negligible among the vaccinated population.
For this reason, health experts are insisting on promoting booster shots as they can offer better protection for vulnerable people. Anyone above the age of 5 is eligible for the vaccines in the US, and booster shots are currently given priority to elders and front-line health workers.
The number of new cases in the US is close to one million on a daily basis. This can continue for the next few months before we reach the peak of this wave. However, many experts are hopeful that the worst is over and the world can move ahead with some caution.
Several experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have said that we can continue to live with the virus without much problems in the near future. As more and more vaccines become available to a large number of countries, it becomes easy to bring the pandemic under control. As of now, more than half of the people in the US are fully vaccinated, and this number is likely to increase in the next few months.
The load on hospitals is high at the moment due to the Omicron surge. However, most of the patients who are in ICU are not vaccinated, and this should encourage others to get vaccine protection at the earliest to prevent severe outcomes.