The study — done by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, Statistics Denmark and Statens Serum Institut — found the omicron variant is spreading fast because it is evading the immunity created by vaccines, according to Reuters.
- “Our findings confirm that the rapid spread of the omicron (variant) primarily can be ascribed to the immune evasiveness rather than an inherent increase in the basic transmissibility,” the researchers said.
The study — which has not been peer-reviewed — looked into 12,000 COVID-19 patients in Denmark, finding that the omicron variant is 2.7 to 3.7 times more infectious than the delta variant.
- Seventy-eight percent of cases were among people fully vaccinated.
- Forty-eight percent of them had a COVID-19 booster shot.
Plenty of research suggests that the omicron variant causes fewer severe COVID-19 symptoms among the vaccinated. In fact, vaccinated individuals often suffer mild COVID-19 symptoms from the omicron variant.
This study is a clue as to why the omicron variant is spreading so fast. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House medical adviser for the coronavirus, told ABC News this week that the omicron variant is spreading faster than previous variants, too.
- “It’s a doubling time of two to three days, closer to two days,” Fauci told ABC News. “Which means that if you start off with a few percentage of the isolates being omicron, and you do the math and double that every couple of days, it’s not surprising that just a week or two ago we had only 8 percent to 10 percent, and now we have 73 percent of all the isolates are omicron.”