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Omicron Has 80% Lower Risk of Hospitalization Compared With Other Variants, New Study Shows

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South Africans with COVID-19 are 80% less likely to be hospitalized if they catch the Omicron variant compared with other strains, according to a new study released on Tuesday (Dec. 21) by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

However, once admitted to the hospital, the risk of severe disease doesn’t differ from other variants, the authors led by scientists Nicole Walter and Cheryl Cohen said.

Compared to Delta infections in South Africa between April and November, Omicron infections are associated with a 70% lower risk of severe disease, they said. The Omicron data was collected for the two months through November.

South Africa has fully vaccinated roughly 44% of its adult population.


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