Immunity to COVID-19 from omicron infections varies across the DC region
Immunity to COVID-19 from omicron infections varies across the DC region

Immunity to COVID-19 from omicron infections varies across the DC region

The omicron variant of coronavirus has infected so many people, says a Johns Hopkins disease model, that between 50% and 90% of the population in different states have some degree of immunity to COVID-19.

The omicron variant of coronavirus has infected so many people, says a Johns Hopkins disease model, that between 50% and 90% of the population in different states have some degree of immunity to COVID-19.

The numbers in DC, Virginia and Maryland are at the high end of that scale.

“By March 1, we expect about 73% of Marylanders to have been infected with omicron,” said Shaun Truelove, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Shaun Truelove is an infectious disease epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. (Courtesy Shaun Truelove)

The numbers are even higher in DC, where he said 80 to 90% of residents will have been infected with omicron by March 1st.

The numbers are not so cut and dried in Virginia, however it is estimated 45% of Virginians have the highest level of immunity, either through boosted vaccination or through vaccination plus a recent omicron infection.

A computer epidemiologist leading the University of Virginia’s COVID-19 modeling team told the Associated Press that a further 47% have immunity that has been somewhat diminished.

Immunity does not prevent recurrent infections; it helps protect against serious outcomes. People are best protected if they are fully vaccinated and boosted, and have also experienced a recent infection.

“We can not really say that the immunity we have built up with omicron is going to protect us in the long run, but it will at least give us at least a little break in the near future,” Truelove said.

Levels of immunity enhanced by omicron infections are expected to provide what Truelove characterizes as “a small window of respite” against severe COVID-19 outcomes, but, he said, the impact of an as yet unknown potential variant remains unclear.

“But we think we’re moving towards a more normal reality, where we worry less about each infection in each case, because each case and each infection is, on average, less and less serious because of the amount. of immunity that is building in the population, ”Truelove said.

He said the road back to a more normal reality would be faster if everyone possible, including the youngest eligible children, were vaccinated and boosted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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Are you looking for more information? DC, Maryland and Virginia are releasing more data every day. Visit their official pages here: Virginia | Maryland | DC


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