Omicron unlikely to be final COVID-19 version, ‘but immune system will win’


Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer has said that the final form of the micron’s COVID-19 is unlikely to emerge, but the human immune system will triumph.

Sir Michael McBride said the vaccination programme, particularly the booster jab, would strike the balance.

The death of six patients, who had earlier tested positive for the virus and another 2,706 cases were notified in the region on Monday.

Hospitals remained under pressure – The hospital had 387 Covid positive patients, of which 31 were in intensive care.

Staff direct drivers at a COVID mobile testing unit at the Dungannon Leisure Center car park in Co Tyrone (Oliver McVeigh/PA) , PA Wire

Sir Michael said the region is poised to hit the peak of the Omicron wave in the next few weeks.

He urged to start vaccination.

“Variants will always arise,” he told the PA news agency.

“It’s not the final version we’ve seen, there will be variants after Omicron, we still have, unfortunately, more letters in the Greek alphabet that we’ll use to find out, but what we can say is this is that our immune system is in a much better place, our immune system wins in the end and it wins especially when we put the balance in its favor and that means we are all getting the vaccine, We are all getting our booster vaccine.

“What we’ve seen over and over again – even though there’s pressure on viruses to mutate, to be transmitted more, to avoid vaccines – over and over again, we’ve seen vaccines that we still have very good protection. against serious illness and hospitalization, and that’s important.”

Sir Michael said a large number of people are coming forward to get vaccinated, but since Christmas Eve there has been a significant slowdown.

He added that getting all the jobs means you’re 90% more likely to avoid serious illness and need hospital admission.

“We’ve seen across the United Kingdom people postpone their booster jabs over the holiday period, but now that we’re back, the holidays are behind us, it’s really important that people give them the protection they need. Don’t trust the jabs,” he said.