A top immunologist is predicting that due to the highly infectious nature of the COVID-19 omicron variant and the natural immunity it will likely induce to those who recover, an end to the pandemic may be in sight.
“We’re now in a totally different phase,” Monica Gandhi, an immunologist at the University of California, San Francisco, told Bloomberg.
“I hope this variant creates profound immunity in the population,” she added. “It will hopefully end the pandemic.”
The severity of sickness caused by the coronavirus is likely to be ebbing too, Bloomberg reported, noting “data from the past week suggest that a combination of widespread immunity and numerous mutations have resulted in a virus that causes far less severe disease than previous iterations.”
Axios reported Tuesday, “A series of preliminary studies suggest that cellular immunity elicited by vaccines or prior COVID infections remains effective against the Omicron variant.”
“This form of immunity is associated with protection against severe disease. That means that while vaccinated people or those with prior infections are significantly less protected against Omicron infection, they’re unlikely to become seriously ill,” the news outlet added.
The information shows that many, many Americans are going to get infected, but they will likely not become seriously ill and will have the added benefit of natural immunity, if they did not before.
This is what vaccine scientist Dr. Robert Malone characterized as “good news” during an appearance on the Fox News program “The Ingraham Angle” just before Christmas.
Malone helped invent the mRNA technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines.
“Omicron blows right through the vaccines and through the triple jab,” he told Fox host Laura Ingraham, referring to the two-round initial shots and the booster.
“Now here’s the good news,” Malone continued. “The number of deaths from omicron worldwide is less than 10 [by] my last count.”
“If you believe in a God, this looks an awful lot like a Christmas present,” the doctor said, pointing out that rather than going into the deep lungs as delta and other prior variants do, which can lead to serious illness, omicron has shifted to the upper airway, indicating the virus is weakening.
It’s also acting as a kind of natural vaccination, he said.
“So the good news with omicron is very low disease, highly infectious. It looks an awful lot to the experienced vaccinologist like a live-attenuated virus vaccine that you might design for purpose,” he contended. “It’s going to elicit a strong mucosal immune response.”
“This is about as good as we could possibly want right now in terms of outcomes.”
Appearing again on the “Ingraham Angle” Monday night, Malone highlighted how infectious the omicron variant is.
“The thing is with omicron, it has a reproductive coefficient — now that’s fancy medical epidemiology talk — but it has a reproductive coefficient, with a measure of infectiveness that’s in the range of measles. It’s in the seven to 10 range,” he said.
In other words one infected person will, on average, spread it to seven to 10 more people.
He explained on Joe Rogan’s podcast last week, by comparison, the average rate of transmission for delta was five to six people.
“We’re all going to get infected,” Malone said. “Probably the only ones that won’t have some degree of symptoms from this in the United States are going to be the ones that have natural immunity. Still, a fraction of those are going to get infected.”
Malone’s observation about the infectiousness of omicron appears to be playing out.
The New York Times tracker shows the number of COVID cases topped 1 million on Monday for the first time since the pandemic began.
The highest previous nationwide spike in January 2021 was approximately 250,000 in one day.
However, Reuters reported last week that COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations in the U.S. are “comparatively” low even as omicron surges.
A study out of South Africa, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, concluded patients admitted to hospitals during the country’s omicron-dominant fourth wave of COVID were 73 percent less likely to have severe disease than patients admitted during the delta-dominant third wave.
Additionally, The New York Times pointed out the omicron wave has passed quickly through South Africa with no major increase in deaths.
So here’s hoping, and even daring to believe, the COVID pandemic may finally be coming to an end thanks to omicron.
Maybe, as Malone suggests, it’s God’s vaccination plan.
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