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Omicron to infect everyone before new vaccine arrives, doctor says


Omicron will infect Thailand’s populace and boost its immunity before a vaccine for the new Covid-19 variant becomes available, a respiratory specialist said on Saturday.

Dr Manoon Leechawengwongs, a senior doctor specialising in respiratory and pulmonary diseases at Vichaiyut Hospital, said he saw no need for a fourth or fifth booster shot to protect against Omicron despite ongoing development of vaccines against the highly contagious variant.

“Everyone will be already infected with Omicron before the new-generation vaccine is available,” he wrote.

The doctor cited a forecast made by US Food and Drug Administration chief, Dr Janet Woodcock, that all Americans would eventually be infected with Omicron.

For Dr Manoon, higher antibody levels via booster shots do not offer 100 per cent protection against Covid-19 infection, particularly where Omicron is involved.

“It is just a good sign that infections will not lead to serious illness. So, there is less chance of long hospitalisation and death,” he said.

He cited reports of Israeli medics being infected with Omicron despite receiving a fourth shot of Pfizer. However, they suffered only mild or no symptoms at all, he added.

Omicron to infect everyone before new vaccine arrives, doctor says

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has urged Thais to avoid unnecessary travel and crowded places during the Chinese New Year festival. The PM urged people to maintain tight anti-Covid measures by social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands when they celebrate the lunar New Year on February 1.

 

Published : January 22, 2022