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Omicron variant carries threefold higher risk of reinfection - South African experts

3 December 2021 14:20

PRETORIA. KAZINFORM The risk of reinfection from the Omicron coronavirus variant is three times as high as from other strains, including the Delta variant, the South African Center for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) said.

In particular, experts pointed to «evidence for Omicron’s ability to evade immunity from prior infection», TASS reports.

NICD expert Anne von Gottberg pointed out at an online news conference hosted by the World Health Organization that previous infection did not provide protection from the Omicron variant.

She noted that South Africa was seeing a rise in reinfections due to Omicron. «We believe the number of cases will increase exponentially in all provinces of the country. We believe that vaccines will still, however, protect against severe disease. Vaccines have always held out to protect against serious disease, hospitalisations and death,» the expert said.