Once Again, the Omicron Variant Tests the Limits of Healthcare Systems, But with Hope

The latest significant COVID-19 variant, the Omicron, is again pushing healthcare systems around the world onto the verge of collapse, having reached over 300 million cases globally (even though the tally has been slowing down).   

La variante Omicron pone nuevamente al límite a los sistemas de salud, pero con esperanzas

The vaccine continues to offer hope and, in France for instance, president Macron has doubled their efforts to vaccinate the skeptical by stating how difficult they will make access to public spaces. On the flipside, India has not been able to recuperate and keeps acting inconsistently, which complicates the fight against this new variant. 

Meanwhile, South Africa has started to relax limitations in the face of Omicron, seeing as new cases have been steadily dropping. 

Though today Omicron is the dominant variant in most countries, Delta is still taking its toll. 

A recent publication in NEJM states SARS-CoV-2 transmission is still possible amongst those with the complete scheme of two doses, both for AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines. , and  that after reinfection, transmission is higher with Delta than with the younger variant Alfa.

Read also: Post-PCI Ticagrelor Monotherapy in High-Risk Bleeding.

The CDC has included teenagers aged 12 to 17 in the group that should get the booster dose, despite figures suggest a small and rare increase in cardiovascular side effects, which include myocarditis and pericarditis.  

On the same lines, the FDA approved the third dose of Pfizer/BioNTech and a few days later released an emergency publication including Moderna. They are also discussing a reduction of the 6-to-5-month interval before the third shot. 

Small studies not yet published suggest the antigen test might be less effective to detect Omicron during its first days of evolution, when it is most contagious. 

Original title: More British troops are deployed to help besieged hospitals.

Reference: https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/01/07/world/omicron-covid-vaccine-tests#more-british-troops-are-deployed-to-help-besieged-hospitals.

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