The Danish experience so far harmonizes very well with a CDC analysis of the first 43 known Omicron cases in the U.S., where 80% were double-jabbed. Halfway around the world in Israel, the country’s health ministry announced as of Dec. 12 that 76% of Omicron cases are among the triple vaxxed. Although Israel has the highest share of boosters in the world, the percentage of triple vaxxed in the overall population is still just 58%. Even California Governor Gavin Newsom admitted, “The overwhelming majority [of Omicron cases] have been fully vaccinated.”
Thus, if Omicron is now the new ploy to return to March 2020-style government authoritarianism, shouldn’t governments downright ban the shots rather than promote and even mandate them? Fauci is predicting hospitals will be “overwhelmed” when Omicron becomes dominant. Mandating the shots, according to his misguided view of Omicron, is like requiring a blowtorch to “extinguish” a fire. In fact, Fauci even admitted earlier this week that South Africa, a country with a low vaccination rate, didn’t experience much critical illness from Omicron because of built immunity.
Moreover, as everyone acknowledges this version of the virus spreads very quickly, the worst thing you could do now (if you believe Omicron must be avoided) is get a shot. Studies have shown the shots initially suppress your immune system for several weeks before ramping up antibodies. Therefore, by the time you would have the theoretical protection (which seems not to work for Omicron anyway), you likely would have gotten the virus anyway. A study published earlier this year by the Statens Serum Institut found that health care workers within seven days of the first shot were more than twice as likely to get infected than those unvaccinated. That is only going to be magnified by this variant, with quicker spread taking place right as governments are ramping up the mandatory vaccination campaigns.
However, fortunately, it looks like it won’t even matter if the vaccine makes it worse or not. All the reports and data we are seeing from Omicron indicate that it is mild like a common cold and infinitely better to catch than Delta. In fact, the only reason to tell people to lock down now is not because of Omicron but to give another two weeks so that Omicron boxes out Delta!
In Israel, 60% of the estimated Omicron cases are asymptomatic. In Denmark, just like in South Africa, we are seeing no additional pressure being placed on the hospitals – a complete decoupling between cases and hospitalizations.
As the U.K. Telegraph reports, South Africa’s virus death rate is now one in 200 – the lowest it has been throughout the pandemic and 10 times lower than last September. The hospitalization rate per COVID case has dropped 91% relative to the Delta wave. There are currently only 509 people in the ICU – fewer than one per hospital – despite several weeks of the rapid Omicron spread. To further drive home this point, the AP reports that Orange County, Florida, officials found that nearly 100% of the SARS-CoV-2 strains in the city’s waste were Omicron. Yet, Orange County barely has anyone in the hospital, and few people have bothered to test. At least as of now, Omicron is so “dangerous” that people don’t even test for it. The reason the hospitals are still loaded in the northern states experiencing their seasonal wave is because of the existing Delta cases.
A new preprint from University of Hong Kong sheds some pathophysiological insight on the data and observations we are seeing at the clinical level. By isolating the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant in human lung tissue and comparing it to the original strain, researchers found that it barely affects the lungs and is primarily an upper respiratory infection, aka a cold.
They found that the novel Omicron variant replicates faster than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and Delta variant in the human bronchus. At 24 hours after infection, the Omicron variant replicated around 70 times higher than the Delta variant and the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. In contrast, the Omicron variant replicated less efficiently (more than 10 times lower) in the human lung tissue than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, which may suggest lower severity of disease.
What made COVID so dangerous, and the Delta variant likely enhanced by the vaccine in particular, is that it attacked the lungs and spawned an aggressive pulmonary inflammation. The fact that this variant stays higher up in the system perfectly explains why it’s so contagious through the nasal pharynx but also so mild. It would also explain why it appears that even some of those with prior infection are getting infected. After all, your body doesn’t store memory cells for a common cold.Hence, the public health officials can’t have it both ways. Either Omicron is a de facto vaccine itself and the solution to the pandemic and should be embraced, or, if it’s somehow a harbinger of doom and gloom, the vaccines are the problem and should be banned because they are clearly spreading it.