January 14 2022 – 06:00
New numbers should add up to the end of the Covid-19 disaster: Winde
Prior infection and vaccination have reduced the severity of Covid-19 during the Omicron-driven fourth wave, according to a study of nearly 17,000 patients in the Western Cape.
A team of 46 scientists led by Mary-Ann Davies of the provincial health intelligence unit estimated the Omicron variant’s reduced virulence may account for about a quarter of the reduced risk of hospitalisation or death compared with Delta, the variant behind the third wave.
Reporting their findings on Wednesday in a preprint that has not yet been peer-reviewed, the team said antibody protection — or seroprevalence — from previous infection was estimated at 70%, and was particularly strong “in poorer communities where social distancing is challenging”.