According to experts, about 77 percent immune to Omicron

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According to a model calculation by the team around simulation researcher Niki Popper, an estimated 77 percent of the population was resistant to infection with the SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron, which continues to cause very high infection rates.

Due to some question marks about the newer Omicron sub-variant BA.2, the estimate refers to the BA.1 type. The immunization rate against Omicron has increased by eleven percentage points compared to the beginning of February.

According to the experts of the company dwh, a spin-off of the Vienna University of Technology (TU), this is due to the consistently high infection figures in recent weeks, which have set new records.

Currently, the researchers assume that slightly less than 20 percent of the total Austrian population has built up their current protection against the Omicron variant solely through an infection that has been detected or not detected. Around 45 percent were immunized by both vaccinations and having contracted the disease as of the cut-off date of 1 March. The rest got their protection purely from immunization.

The population share of Omicron-immunised people, which has grown to 77 percent, is currently depressing the effective reproduction rate – i.e., the average number of people infected by an infected person – by about 72 percent, the experts write.

If the delta variant, which dominated until just before the turn of the year, we’re still the majority, the researchers would even assume a proportion of 90 percent protected in their “Model-based estimate of the immunization level in Austria. “

The estimate also takes into account assumptions that vaccination protection decreases over time, that immunity built up through illness wears off, or that some people are not sufficiently protected despite vaccination, for example, because their immune system has not built up an appropriate response. Currently, it is seen that the protection against infection also decreases again in people whose third vaccination dates from late autumn 2021.

The first prognosis deals with autumn

In another study with slightly different basic assumptions, the scientists looked at how the immunity level could develop until October. The simplified model assumes lower immunization rates than the “model-based estimate. “

Looking ahead to autumn is not a forecast of the future. The experts emphasize: However, it is possible to “estimate how the level of immunization will develop – without external influences, “making it possible to make preparations.

It could be that the level of immunization will be reduced to one-fifth by 1 October compared to the value on 28 February. “This means that about 4.3 million immune Austrians will be short of the current level by 1 October.” The protection against hospitalization, however, presents itself much more stable. These calculations, however, only apply under a “zero scenario, in which neither immunization through recovery nor vaccination takes place as of today. “

  • source: ORF.at/agencies/picture: pixabay.com
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