Making an Informed Decision about Vaccination - Omicron for the Festive Season?
Making an Informed Decision about Vaccination – What you need to know
A Vaccinated Industry is a Safe, Sustainable and Successful Industry
Latest News: Omicron for the Festive Season?
Just when we thought we were getting ahead of the game with Covid-19, a new variant has appeared in South Africa, Botswana, Israel, Hong Kong and Belgium. Known as B.1.1.529, it has 32 mutations in the spike protein. The new variant has been designated as the Omicron variant.
Critical difference with Omicron
As opposed to the Alpha and Delta and other variants, the Omicron variant has a large number of mutations, which is common for strains that develop in someone with a chronic COVID infection due to a weak immune system. When the virus runs rampant in a body for months, huge populations of the virus particles evolve and compete, and re-infections can bring in different strains and mutations to swap genes.
The World Health Organisation has published this update:
Classification of Omicron (B.1.1.529): SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern – W.H.O.
There is also good reason to believe full vaccination will protect against Omicron.
This means masking, social distancing, and full vaccination are even more important, with the follow up booster for better protection against severe disease, hospitalisation, long-covid effects, or death.
As Dr Anthony Fauci has stated to the New York Times: “It is unambiguous that someone who is vaccinated has a very higher likelihood of being protected against infection, hospitalization and death compared to a very vulnerable, unvaccinated person.”
Latest Stats from the European Commission at 24 November 2021
Vaccinated Population Effect and Mutations
A fully vaccinated population with boosted viral protection helps limit the possibility of mutations developing, especially in the more vulnerable, immunocompromised sectors of the population. The more who are vaccinated, the more protection we can all give the weaker, more vulnerable members of our society.
This is most important part: protecting the most vulnerable. South Africans have a large population of TB and HIV positive people in our lives, as well as many affected by cancer or undergoing cancer therapy - our family, friends, neighbours and staff, and all of them immunocompromised.
As mentioned above, chronic immune deficiency and illness with covid allows the virus to mutate into new variants in those with immune system weakness, as we’re seeing with the Omicron variant.
So vaccination not only protects you and your loved ones, your neighbours and your staff and their families, but in turn protects you from the development of further variants in an unvaccinated pool of people with poor immune systems and chronic illness.
The circle becomes complete.
Global Update – Be Safe and Keep the Numbers Down: We want to travel and enjoy life
As mentioned before, many countries are starting to lockdown again against a fourth covid wave.
The UK’s sudden decision today to close off air travel with South Africa is just the latest move.
Austria has gone into lockdown this past week, Belgium has implemented tighter restrictions, including working from home and mandatory masks, and the Health Minister of Germany has warned that by the end of their winter, “just about everybody in Germany will probably be either vaccinated, recovered or dead.” Germany is discussing the possibility of a vaccine mandate as the only solution. Singapore has implemented a mandatory vaccine programme and is requiring that even given their universal health care system, unvaccinated covid sufferers will not have their hospitalisations covered. Kenya will be imposing widespread restrictions on unvaccinated residents from next month. And the list goes on.
South Africa's epidemiology has been absolutely first rate on this, for speed, accuracy, and communication. As News24.com stated today: “South Africa has a large collaborative genomic surveillance network, which has been crucial in identifying variants and controlling outbreaks. Krisp (KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform), located in KwaZulu-Natal, is the principal investigative institute of this network.”
South Africa has the technology and the science. If we want to avoid further restrictions on our recovering economy in South Africa, we vaccinate, mask, social distance and test. If we work together, with the interests of our community at heart, we can recover.
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We’ve asked some of our top professionals in the industry to share their thoughts with us and each week we’ll be sharing their stories for you to enjoy. If you have a positive experience you’d like to share with us on the vaccine and the differences it’s made in your personal life or your salon and with your clients’ appreciation of their salon experiences, please send to Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org , with a photo you’d like us to use!
Industry Vaccination: Safety, Sustainability and A Return to Normality