Double dose not as effective against Omicron variant

COVID-19 omicron strain

The president of the National Vaccination Committee, Maria Theodoridou, said Monday that the effectiveness of the two-dose vaccines against Omicron is “reduced compared to other variants,” while noting that three doses “offers protection but the duration is unknown.”

She also cited a British study of 815 patients with Omicron, which found that the booster shot was found to be 90% effective in preventing hospitalization.

“The third dose is key to tackling the Omicron variant,” she said. “The situation is evolving in tandem with the findings of science,” she said while warning that “infection with both Delta and Omicron can occur at the same time.”

For his part, the Secretary-General of Primary Healthcare, Marios Themistokleous, stressed that the percentage of fully vaccinated people in the general population is 67.3%. New cases of the coronavirus jumped past the 36,000-mark again Monday, after 17,633 on Sunday when there is significantly less testing, and 30,010 the day before.

Health authorities confirmed 36,246 infections for the 24-hour period ending 3 p.m. Monday. There were also 78 deaths, up from 61 on Sunday and 59 Saturday, as well as 615 patients on ventilators, down from 626 Sunday.