Last year back in November when the Omicron variant of coronavirus was first traced, many scientists and experts claimed that the variant is mild and not as dangerous as its prototypes Delta and Alpha.
Now, a study led by Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School has found that the danger of hospitalisation and mortality between Omicron and previous waves was “nearly identical”.
“Our analysis suggests that the intrinsic severity of the Omicron variant may be as severe as previous variants.”
The variant was discovered in South Africa, and previous research has shown that it is more transmissible than other variants.
These studies, which were conducted in several countries, also claimed that the variant is less severe, resulting in a lower number of hospitalizations and deaths.
For the study, scientists combined state-level vaccination data with quality-controlled electronic health records from a large healthcare system in Massachusetts that included 13 hospitals.
Following that, the researchers conducted a weighted case-control study on approximately 130,000 Covid patients to examine the risks of hospitalisation and fatality across the SARS-CoV-2 waves.
Previous waves appeared to have higher unadjusted rates of hospital admission and mortality than the Omicron period.
However, after controlling for variables such as demography and vaccination status, the researchers concluded that “the Omicron variant was as deadly as previous SARS-CoV-2 waves, according to the study’s authors, which included MGH’s Zachary H. Strasse.
While previous reports have made note of Omicron’s vaccine evading properties this new study provides evidence that the vaccines helped people escape its worst effects.