COVID-19 | SAMRC: Vaccines vital in fighting Omicron

The OECD warns that in the worst scenario, "pockets of low vaccination end up as breeding grounds for deadlier strains of the virus". AFP/Christof Stache

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Medical Research Council is warning against reading too much into early Omicron reports.

It says early data is based on a very small number of patients.

READ: Concern over bed capacity as more babies test positive for COVID-19

The council is urging people to get vaccinated as this prevents severe disease and death.

"Vaccination is still our only serious protection against it and if we had a higher rate of vaccination then we would see even fewer admissions," he said.

"So I don't think we should for a moment think that our hospitals are not going to be overwhelmed, they will be, because remember in past waves people could not get a hospital bed and so if we have fewer admissions in this wave, I can tell you that those beds that become available are going to be rapidly taken up by people who could not get a hospital bed before. We should still prepare for a rough time in this fourth wave."


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