Omicron: GP explains ‘overwhelming’ science behind vaccines
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There is a battle underway as the UK heads into winter. Covid cases are creeping up and there are several variants “fighting for dominance”, explained Professor Tim Spector in his latest video. “There is a battle going on to see who will take over from BA.5,” he said.
BA.5 is an offshoot of the Omicron variant which superseded previous strains to become the dominant variant.
There are currently a “few contenders” in the mix to supplant BA.5, the professor said.
These include the BQ strains, such BQ.1 – a descendant of BA.5 which is thought to be better than BA.5 at evading immunity from vaccination or previous infection.
And the XBB offshoot — a virus formed from a combination of the omicron subvariants BA.2.75 and BA.2 – could also prove troublesome, Prof Spector said.
The XBB subvariant is “really big” in Singapore and there are other ones to watch too, added the ZOE head.
“Even going back to our old friend BA.2 and BJ.1 – they are all fighting for dominance,” added Prof Spector.
BJ.1, also referred to as BA.2.10.1, also belongs to the Omicron variant.
Professor Spector was quick to allay concerns about this contest for supremacy.
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“The good news for us is that there is not one that has managed to get around our immune system.”
Top symptoms showing up in the fully vaccinated
That is not to say symptomatic Covid is off the table. The variants are still cutting through, although the vaccines are blunting the worst of its effects.
The ZOE Health Study has been tracking the symptoms in the fully vaccinated from millions of users to its app.
Generally, it saw similar symptoms of COVID-19 being reported overall in the app by people who had and hadn’t been vaccinated.
However, fewer symptoms were reported over a shorter period of time by those who had already had a jab, suggesting that they were falling less seriously ill and getting better more quickly.
Here is the current ranking of COVID symptoms after two vaccinations:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Blocked nose
- Persistent cough
The previous “traditional” symptoms as still outlined on the Government website, such as anosmia (loss of smell), shortness of breath and fever rank way down the list, at six, 29 and eight respectively.
A persistent cough now ranks at number five if you’ve had two vaccine doses, so is no longer the top indicator of having Covid.
See the latest Covid vaccine stats below and visit InYourArea for all the Covid vaccine latest
Curiously, the study noticed that people who had been vaccinated and then tested positive for COVID-19 were more likely to report sneezing as a symptom compared with those without a jab.
If you’ve been vaccinated and start sneezing a lot without an explanation, you should therefore get a Covid test, especially if you are living or working around people who are at greater risk from the disease.
The ranking of symptoms also changes again after one dose of the vaccination.
The ranking is as follows:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Persistent cough.
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