THE concern for the booster jab roll-out in the face of the new Omicron variant (Echo, Dec 1) appears to exaggerate the impact of booster jabs in preventing any Omicron-driven wave of infection.

Strangely, the potential for a large increase in infection rates and the possibility of heightened case mortality rates seems not to be taken seriously.

The discussion in the media and the corridors of power appear to show an attitude of “don’t scare the horses”. The evidence suggests such an attitude is foolhardy.

If nothing else we should be alarmed by the speed of the variant’s arrival in UK.

The Omicron variant was first sequenced last week with earliest samples just three weeks ago. This short period is why the threat from the Omicron variant cannot be yet properly assessed.

Back at the start of the pandemic, it was three months before the virus arrived in UK. Today Omicron has already been in UK for some days. And there are already hundreds of ‘probable’ cases shown by the “SGTF” result in PCR tests, this considered a marker for the new variant, as it was for the now-rare Kent variant last year.

If Omicron becomes dominant and replaces Delta, let us hope that vaccine immunity holds up better than the present expert assessments. And if it doesn’t, pray that Omicron proves less deadly than previous variants.


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