Britain’s “astonishing” proliferation of omicrons provides warning for the United States

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Members of the public team participating in the Covid-19 vaccination and booster vaccination at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, England on December 14, 2021.

Dan Kitwood | Getty Images News | Getty Images

LONDON-The UK is being swallowed up by waves of Covid cases, and more and more cases are related to the omicron Covid variant as it races to vaccinate as many people as possible.

Early studies have shown that booster injections can restore most of the vaccine protection lost due to natural weakening of immunity, and enhance our body’s ability to fight omicron variants when we are infected.

In view of the urgent need to protect citizens and prevent medical services from being overwhelmed, this has prompted the United Kingdom, the United States and European countries to do all they can to accelerate vaccination programs.

The UK is particularly closely watched because it has seen what Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned of will be a “wave” of Covid cases, even though it is ahead of the US and the EU in terms of booster deployment.

“The rhythm of [the booster] British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that while urging the public to obtain boosters, the number of boosters launched in these four countries is now twice that of the entire United Kingdom, more than twice that of the United States, and twice that of the United States. many. Upgrade as soon as possible.

“So let us move on. Let us continue to provide omicron with two buckets of water. Let us slow its spread and give the vaccine more time.”

In the UK, more than 24 million people have now received the booster injection. According to official data, 43% of the population aged 12 and over received the third injection.

However, the data may refer to adults; from Wednesday, anyone in England 18 years of age or older can order a booster, as long as they received the second dose at least three months ago. Those who are 16 or older can also book because their health conditions put them at a high risk of contracting Covid.

On Wednesday alone, the UK conducted more than 650,000 booster shots, a national effort involving the military, mobile vaccination centers, pharmacies, and large numbers of volunteers to inject vaccines into weapons as quickly as possible.

As the number of omicron cases doubles every two days across the country, this has led to a further surge in Covid cases. On Wednesday, the UK reported the highest daily number of Covid cases since the pandemic began, with 78,610 new infections.

Booster rollout is slower in the U.S. and EU

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated on its website that the current 7-day moving average of new daily cases (118,515) is 37.3% higher than the previous 7-day moving average (86,315).

However, CDC data shows that only 30% of American adults over 18 received booster injections (52.3% of people over 65 received the third dose).

At the same time, in the European Union, data from the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that as of December 15, more than 81 million third doses had been provided, which is equivalent to about 18% of the total population of the European Union and the European economy. Region (EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).

Although Covid cases are rampant in Germany and France, approximately 28.7% and 27.3% of the adult population in Germany and France have received booster injections, respectively. Germany reported more than 51,000 new infections on Wednesday, and France reported 63,000 new cases.

Dangers posed by omicron

Experts judge that omicron is more communicable than the delta variant, and believe that it will soon become a major international variant.

It is too early to say whether it will cause more serious diseases, because it was designated as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization on November 26.

In countries such as the United Kingdom, winter has also contributed to the spread of this variant, as there will be more indoor mixing and social gatherings on Christmas Eve. British experts warn people to limit their social activities if possible.

Dr. Jenny Harris, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said on Wednesday that given the current infection rate, the growth of the omicron variant in the next few days will be “astonishing”. On Wednesday, the UK recorded 4,671 new omicron cases, and UKHSA wrote on Twitter, bringing the total number of omicron cases to 10,017. On Tuesday, the total number of omicron cases was 5,346.

one Bright point For the UK, this may be because it is relatively easy to encourage vaccination, as demonstrated by the long lines outside the vaccination centre this week. The UK was one of the first countries to start vaccinating people, with approximately 81% of people 12 years of age or older receiving two doses of Covid vaccine.

Compared with many other countries, it also has a lower vaccine hesitation rate. At this time last year, a survey conducted jointly by Ipsos and the World Economic Forum found that when the Covid vaccine was just launched in the UK, 77% of British adults said they planned to get the Covid vaccine, and their indecision declined last year.

In contrast, 69% of people surveyed in the United States said they plan to get vaccinated, while only 40% of adults surveyed in France plan to get vaccinated.

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