Preliminary data indicate COVID-19 vaccines remain effective against severe disease and hospitalisation caused by the Omicron variant

24 January 2022 –

EMA continues to monitor emerging data on the effectiveness of vaccines against COVID-19, including disease caused by the Omicron variant which is now spreading rapidly across the EU. Although Omicron appears to be more infectious than other variants, studies from South Africa, UK and some EU countries show a lower risk of being hospitalised after infection with Omicron; based on these studies, the risk is currently estimated to be between a third and half of the risk with the Delta variant. Results from recently published studies show that vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease is lower for Omicron than for other variants and tends to wane over time. As a result, more vaccinated people are likely to develop breakthrough disease due to Omicron.

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