Omicron variant, Lopalco: “It’s not a common cold, that’s why”

“If it were also true that it is less lethal than the Delta, its ability to spread in the population still represents a threat”

“These days I have often heard that the Omicron variant ‘of Sars-CoV-2’ appears to have a lower lethality rate than the previous ones. Someone has ventured even further by saying it will be ‘little more than a cold’. They are. optimistic by nature, but spreading these views can be very dangerous. ” Thus Pier Luigi Lopalco, epidemiologist and former health councilor of the Puglia Region, relaunching the invitation to get vaccinated.

“Sars-CoV-2 is a dangerous virus for those who contract it without any immune defense, regardless of the variants”, he writes on Facebook in a post in which he explains why Covid-19 “will never be a common cold for several years”. The expert underlines how “the lethality of the virus during the pandemic naturally tends to decrease due to the adaptation phenomena of the human population to the virus, and not vice versa. The first phenomenon – he specifies – unfortunately is linked to the fact that the weakest die in the first waves of the pandemic, because it is not time to protect them with vaccination. In subsequent waves, then, the level of immunity of the population increases progressively thanks to the combination of vaccination / natural infection. The virus, circulating, therefore encounters an increasingly resistant population “.

“Despite this – continues Lopalco – if we analyze the absolute numbers of individuals who have not been vaccinated and have not had the infection, we realize that they are still in the order of millions of people. This is why variants like Omicron do fear. The simple fact of being more transmissible is in itself a threat. The virus, in fact, circulating quickly even among those who are partially immune (vaccinated or cured), will still meet many individuals who will respond to the infection by developing serious forms of disease because completely discoveries from an immune point of view. These include those who have never been vaccinated (including children and adolescents) and those who have substantially lost the protection of the first doses of the vaccine. Many seniors and adults who have not yet had a booster are found in the latter situation “.

In short, even “if it were also true that the Omicron variant is less lethal than the Delta, its ability to spread throughout the population still represents a threat”, warns Lopalco.

“So let’s go ahead with vaccination – he urges – and, with a little patience, at least for next autumn-winter, let’s not let our guard down with masks, interior ventilation and spacing”.