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Coronavirus - The year of Omicron - Is 70% immunity enough?

Featured Coronavirus - The year of Omicron - Is 70% immunity enough?

With the percentage of the population that is expected to complete the vaccination in the first ten days of January reaching 70%, the country is entering the year of the Omicron variant together with the rest of the planet.

Is immunity enough?

More than 7,260,000 residents have taken the first dose, representing 79% of the adult population. And as everything shows, before the end of next January, the percentage of immunity will be at a very satisfactory level, but it is unknown whether it will prove effective against the new variant that scientists still can not decode.

By showing greater faith in the vaccine and less in traditional protection measures such as the mask and distances, new reserves are being deployed to repair the immune wall.

All ages

Vaccination centers are now visited by children and people of all ages. More than 29,000 children have already made an appointment for the first installment, while the Authorities received 60,000 installments for this purpose.

Vaccination of children begins on December 15 while at the same time particularly high performance is recorded for the first and booster dose in those over 60 years. The first age group to cross the barrier of 90% of those vaccinated is 75-79 years old.


In recent days in our country, at least in terms of cases, the rate of spread of the pandemic is showing restraint, but this is something that is not reflected in the number of deaths, as almost 100 died on Monday, but also of intubated patients who exceeded 700 again. Scientists are very concerned about the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, which has already swept Britain and accounts for 40% of new cases. Europe and our country will not be exempted from this frantic contagion, as experts estimate, and no one can predict that the rapidly accelerating immune wall in Greece will withstand the infectious siege.

Intensive research

Research on the effectiveness of vaccines against the new variant is being carried out at an intensive pace. Summing up the latest data, the chairwoman of the Vaccination Committee, Maria Theodoridou, pointed out that the increased transmission of the virus will lead to increased hospitalization, infections and deaths, but there are also the pleasures from South Africa, which show - for now at least - that the disease of this variant is milder than the Delta.


Of course, Ms. Theodoridou hastened to say that these concern the study of a small number of patients, 42 to be precise, two-thirds of whom were found to have covid by chance, but none of them needed oxygen.

"We expect that the virus will not be responsible for a more serious disease, but it is still too early to say, because mainly young people have become ill, and we do not know how the transmission of Omicron will affect the elderly," said M. Theodoridou. And once again called on all those over 60 to be vaccinated with the first, second and third (booster) doses as all recent studies show that the third dose increases the antibody titer 25-fold and decreases the 90% mortality.

She said that at all ages there is a 20% reduction in the risk of serious illness once the booster dose has been given. But in the meantime, even three doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine may not protect against Omicron as much as they protect against Delta, two small, unpublished studies show.

Conflict of results

These results seem to contradict preliminary findings by Pfizer / BioNtech, which have shown that the three vaccine doses offer adequate protection against the new variant that is spreading worldwide.

According to research by the Sava Medical Center in Israel, the antibodies offered by the booster dose of the mRNA vaccine kill Omicron four times less effectively than Delta.


In the face of this climate of uncertainty, scientists and companies are proposing the introduction of a fourth dose, something that in Greece is not ruled out by those in charge, emphasizing that at present only speculation can be made about it and that most likely the fourth dose will be a dose of vaccine such as the flu and will be given annually.

Five in Greece

On Monday, 1,009 infections were detected in the Attica Basin and 559 in Thessaloniki. The cases of Omicron reached five.

"I am very afraid that very soon we will see incidents in the community, inexplicably, which means that Omicron is here, it has taken its course and we are waiting to see how quickly it will prevail" said Nikos Tzanakis, Professor of Pulmonology at the Medical School of the University of Crete.

"For example, if we find a case in a student or a person who has not traveled, then obviously he has stuck in the community, so the virus is circulating among us."