Omicron Update: Explosive Growth in Cases - Hospitalisations Close Behind

Making an Informed Decision about Vaccination – What you need to know

A Vaccinated Industry is a Safe, Sustainable and Successful Industry

Omicron cases are growing really fast. Like explosive, skyrocketing, vertical growth fast. If we continue this rate of spread, I would venture to say that there is no modern day virus that has spread this fast and this far ever before.

Bottom Line: Case counts are going to get very high. As high as our testing capacity can take. While the severity of disease is reduced (due to immunity or intrinsic changes, we don’t know), the mere number of infections will increase hospitalizations.

- American epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina, Dec 17 2021

While Omicron seems to be outpacing the Delta variant and MAY be milder in individual cases, it’s only been less than 4 weeks since the discovery of the new variant. We still can’t say what the outcome will be in another 4 weeks.

To paraphrase in a South African context, please use caution this holiday season. While the percentage of double vaccinated South Africans is increasing, there are still 60% of South Africans, so many vulnerable and immunocompromised, relying on the rest of us, the small “herd”, to protect them through no choice of their own. While your individual risk may be low, Omicron presents significant societal risk to so many. And the more who remain unvaccinated, the more the uncontrolled Omicron cases create a large pool where more variants can develop, possibly ones that are even more resistant to vaccination.

And the Festive Season has only just begun, with Gautengers already moving out to other provinces to enjoy gatherings of friends and families.

Omicron Update: Dec 17

“Omicron in Europe is well on its way. The UK continues to breaks case records. On Wednesday, the UK reported 78,610 new cases—their biggest one-day increase on record. Then, on Thursday they broke that record again and reported 88,376 new cases. France also recorded their biggest one-day increase on record with 65,713 cases. Denmark has the highest case load they’ve ever had. In all of these places, Omicron is largely driving explosive spread, but Delta is still around too. “

Click HERE for full article.

There is no way to know whether South Africa will follow those trends. Current news seems to indicate double vaccinated individuals, while more susceptible to Omicron than Delta or Beta, appear to experience the milder cases. There is still not enough data to show the exact numbers on this yet, though. But a critical aspect on those who would like to rely on their own immunity lies in the fact that there is no guarantee that previous infection will protect from reinfection with Omicron.

Omicron: evidence shows it evades immunity from earlier infection more than other variants

Dec 19, 2021

Omicron is far more infectious than Delta and has spread like wildfire through the UK, Gauteng, and Europe, and now the US.

Click HERE for full article.

Omicron spread about 70 times quicker than Delta in human bronchial samples, a lab study found

Dec 16, 2021

Are cases going to be milder? The jury is still out and it’s too soon to tell.

“Still, the findings are in line with reports from the European Medicines Agency and US CDC that, so far, Omicron seems to be spreading faster but cases have been mostly mild.

Click HERE for full article.

However, deaths and hospitalisations have also been reported after Omicron. Even a less severe virus can seriously harm and kill many people if it spreads across vast populations. The World Health Organization has warned that it is still too early to conclude that Omicron is "milder" than other variants. "We're concerned that people are dismissing Omicron as mild. Surely we have learned by now that we underestimate this virus at our peril," WHO leader Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday.

Whether Omicron will cause more virus in the upper airways but less virus in the lungs, and whether that will then translate into less severe disease, remains to be seen. Muge Cevik, an infectious diseases expert at the University of St Andrews in Edinburgh, Scotland, argued in a Twitter thread on Wednesday that much remains unknown.

"The only thing I am sure of is that Omicron will spread so quickly through the population, making it likely impossible to contain even with the most stringent measures & giving us very little time over the next few weeks. So get your vaccines & boosters!" she said.

So far South Africa remains at Adjusted Level 1, and the government has not imposed stricter national restrictions, either on movement, travel or alcohol sales (Heaven forbid!), but this is all dependent on how safe South Africans keep themselves during this time.

Please mask up, keep gatherings to a minimum and stay safe during this festive season!

Party Responsibly!

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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 , with a photo you’d like us to use!

Industry Vaccination: Safety, Sustainability and A Return to Normality

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