26 June, 2022

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Omicron Wave In Sri Lanka Is Not Too Far Away – Take The Booster Dose Without Delay: Association Of Medical Specialists

Association Of Medical Specialists (AMS) has strongly urged everyone to take the booster, in order to reduce chances of clinical disease, protect the vulnerable, prevent hospital capacity being overwhelmed and prevent a lock down which could lead our country to further economic disaster.

“In Sri Lanka only 25% of the target population have taken the booster. The rest are at risk of contracting clinical disease with Omicron,” said the AMS today.

We publish below the statement in full:

The Omicron variant of corona virus is spreading rapidly around the world, and has superseded the Delta variant in most countries. Even with the limited sequencing capacity available, 47 patients infected with Omicron have been detected so far in Sri Lanka. The situation in the West and South Africa shows that it spreads extremely fast. For example, Ireland recorded more Covid-19 cases over the holiday period (120,000 cases from 25 – 31 December 2021) than all of 2020 (91,779 cases), according to the country’s department of health.

While Omicron is probably milder than the Delta variant, as it is transmitted much more efficiently, many more people will be infected and therefore hospital capacities may be exceeded due to the sheer number of people affected. Many hospital workers in the west are infected and are in quarantine which can further affect the health care services adversely.

In April 2021, many Sri Lankans ignored health precautions and this resulted in a wave of infections due to the much less infectious Alpha variant, and thereafter the Delta variant. Almost 15,000 people died and the hospital capacity was stretched to the limit. In spite of this bad experience, AMS notes with dismay, that history is repeating itself. Shops, bars, 31st night parties etc. were jampacked. This occurred while the Omicron variant was amongst us. It is therefore inevitable that the Omicron variant will cause a massive wave of infection during the coming weeks.

The only way to tackle this wave would be to get vaccinated, wear a mask, keep a safe distance, open windows for adequate ventilation, clean your hands and cough and sneeze safely. We need to continue to take all above precautions even after taking vaccine doses.

Almost 85% of the target population in Sri Lanka (> 16 years) have been vaccinated with 2 doses. However, 2 doses of Astra Zeneca or Pfizer are not effective in preventing infection especially from the omicron variant. For example, a study in the UK showed that, 15 weeks after two doses of the Astra Zeneca (AZ) vaccine, protection against clinical disease became zero. The corresponding figure for Pfizer was 34%. However, a booster dose of Pfizer given to people vaccinated with 2 doses of AZ vaccine boosted the effectiveness against clinical disease to 70%. It is quite probable that the vaccines would prevent severe disease in most people.

However, in Sri Lanka only 25% of the target population have taken the booster. The rest are at risk of contracting clinical disease with Omicron. Therefore, AMS strongly urges everyone to take the booster, in order to reduce chances of clinical disease, protect the vulnerable, prevent hospital capacity being overwhelmed and prevent a lock down which could lead our country to further economic disaster.

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Latest comments

  • 12
    4

    However, 2 doses of Astra Zeneca or Pfizer are not effective in preventing infection especially from the omicron variant
    —————–
    Funny is it not? One dose is not enough. Two doses are not enough. 3 doses are not enough. At present its 4 doses! Then what? 5,6,7,8,9,10 etc?
    So the virus just keeps mutating itself almost as soon as a vaccine is developed?
    And conveniently it means more and more money going into the pockets of certain ‘medical professionals’, as this drama continues.

    • 6
      0

      Humble,
      not a joke, but it is the fact. CORONA viral sequences are changeable with the time. Not much is known about sustainable levels of antibodies also after 3 jabs in some age groups.

      In UK or the like countries, they have made it a highly lucrative business. I had to pay like 35 bp for an antigen test shortly before leaving LONDON 4 weeks ago. The kind of tests are freely available in Germany for almost everyone. And the fact that germans and the like nations are entitled to a mandatory health insurance is not to be underestimated, while UK and US dont have the kind of previledges.
      .
      So people will have no choice but to buckle under what some experts have to say. Good is that much of hospitalisations are reported to be on a rise as predicted at the begining.

      • 3
        0

        Good is that much of hospitalisations are NOT on a rise as predicted at the begining.😎😎😎😎😎

    • 3
      1

      H
      News on the virus and the vaccines are dispensed selectively.
      I have seen how effectively people are silenced even on the Internet.
      The establishment does not want an open scientific debate. It is bad for business too.
      Reportedly Omicron causes symptoms like a simple common cold. But what is emphasised is its speed of spreading.

      • 3
        0

        Even the designers of Pfizer/ BioNtech/Mainz Germany are not vocal on the variant these days/ nothing much about Omicron and its presumable spread patterns .
        .
        No sufficient data yet available to draw any conclusions

    • 4
      0

      I don’t know much about medicine.
      .
      I got the two doses of Sinopharm about the middle of last year (June and July), and the Pfizer booster on the 3rd of December 2021.
      .
      I’ve got a scanned copy of the certificate on my phone and I have stopped bothering about it. The Health Department officials who handled it did their job well, and I’m grateful to them for that.
      .
      However, there was a guy who told me (in reasonably good English, at that!), that I should be grateful to the Rajapaksas for giving me (at that time) the Sinopharm vaccine free. I was not only furious at hearing that, but also told him so.
      .
      I’m taking the other precautions like wearing a mask, and washing my hands, but i don’t want any more persons trying to advise me on this. I know that I have to die one day (wish it wasn’t so!); I’m old. Does it matter so much how I die?
      .
      I agree with the pious notion that we should do all that we can to safeguard others. But isn’t about our own deaths that we primarily worry?
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

      • 2
        0

        Dear Sm/my dear Iskolemahathya/
        .
        “However, there was a guy who told me (in reasonably good English, at that!), that I should be grateful to the Rajapaksas for giving me (at that time) the Sinopharm vaccine free. I was not only furious at hearing that, but also told him so”.
        .
        This is the typical mentality of the average down there..They gave no idea about the taxes where the state income come from. Be it 5k offer or any other being offered by a state the are made to believe that it comes from Rajapakshe asif ut belongs to their own pockets
        ..
        So knowing that being the average thinking pattern/ how can u expect to send most appropriate to represent them in parliament?????😎😎😎😎😎😎😎.
        .
        In gernany/ even if all expensive tests are offered free / people in general have the knowledge to cross question without any hesitation / and patients in hospitals are served like royals/ thanks to mandatory health insurance insurance
        😎😎🍬🍬🍬✌✌✌

    • 1
      1

      No one is forcing anyone to see doctor , get treated, or get vaccinated. When i phone 1,2,3,4 (you may know the last count) is not good enough why not 4th or even 10th dose. By the way for the price of smart phone a person can afford to get unlimited vaccines.(I believe you did not even pay for the initial ones). Be humble.

  • 8
    2

    OMG, not again. Over to Dinuk, DRS and rest of their alters.

    • 5
      0

      Chiv,
      .
      could you explain more about this topic, you ve been an internist ?

      Thank you.
      :

      • 2
        0

        LM, we who are trained in this field are not at all surprised with the development up to now. Usually any microbe is expected to run it’s course, the difference being some are brief/chronic and lethal/not so lethal. What makes Corona virus different is that the virus seems to be modified turning into a pandemic in a double quick time where the medical world was not prepared for it ( like HIV in the beginning). Yet thanks to coordinated efforts , R & D we have been able to contain to certain degree unlike in the past, where it took years and morbidity/mortality was many folds. This virus too is expected to mutate further but in the process loosing it’s virulence and settling into something similar like seasonal influenza. In the mean time people will acquire immunity either by infection or vaccination. Though a vaccinated person may get reinfected it may not be as lethal in past and may actually help further in boosting their immune system. Our immune system is like chips where data is saved, which can be retained or modified as per the need. From what I hear, consensus are pandemic to subside and turn into endemic limited to certain areas. Just like in any illness, it is necessary for the public to take precautions to live a healthy life, help in containing and lower morbidity/mortality.

    • 4
      0

      Omicron is not spreading as predicted at the begining.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM2VgBm9pTI
      .
      May well be many yet today misinterpret the patterns of the cases.

  • 2
    3

    The only way to tackle this wave would be to get vaccinated, wear a mask
    ———-
    So covering ones mouth prevents the spread of a deadly disease does it?
    I thought one had to wear a full hazmat suit for that? Those suits that cover the entire body from head to toe?
    And if the so called vaccine works then why even wear a mask? Are you saying the mask does not work?

    • 3
      0

      Humble a face mask is still very effective and a vaccinated person, for his own protection should continue wearing a mask. Though there are effective treatment( soon may be a vaccine too) available for HIV, still people have to strictly avoid unprotected sex isn’t it ?? Covering mouth alone of politicians in pandemic free time will be effective in preventing many public hazards.

  • 4
    0

    The recent unconfirmed findings that the Omicron is mild compared to previous mutations and original Corona virus originated from China. Even though this virus quickly spread its impact on hospital admissions is much lower and very few intensive care admissions or leading to death. Some say that it also produce antibodies not only against Omicron but also the deadly Delta virus mutation. In the vaccines and face masks also helped to reduce the spread of the virus, hospital admissions and severe illness. However, it will take time to find the conclusive evidence. We still don’t know whether Corona virus is a man made product or it is a product of nature but we cannot ignore the good science and good scientists but there are also some scientists mis use science like many bad Politicians misuse the power.

    • 0
      0

      Ajith, Omicron is yet another variant of the original Corona Virus. This is expected with all microbes and more with Viruses. For example Influenza Virus by now have hundreds (if not thousand) of variants and hence the vaccines too are modified, time to time for better efficacy. This applies with commonly used antibiotics too where abuse and unwarranted use may lead to microbial resistance and loss of potency. Hence antibiotics are further modified (as in 1, 2, 3 generation) or invented according to needs (which will cost in Billions). So the Virus keeps mutating , causing infection, but the morality and morbidity will not be significant as of now.

  • 2
    2

    New mutants will keep evolving until all the Greek letters are exhausted!

    • 2
      3

      CM
      You cannot beat them at the game. They went on to Delta one, two etc. at one time. (The counting was not in Greek though.)
      The poor virus now causes symptoms like a common cold according to medical sources. But the population has been adequately intimidated to lock itself at home at the hint of a new name.

  • 3
    6

    lots of fearmongering by our medical community I think . To me it looks like those Sinopharm vaccines more than did their job. while the mRNAs are failing. just look at the world map where there is a massive omicron wave .

    You will never hear it from the press though as they are trying to raise the stock price of Pfizer.

    It makes no sense that there is already no wave of omicron in SL India or south America while Europe and the USA ,Canada are all under these 4th waves.

    • 3
      0

      a14455 / January 3, 2022

      Finally some good comments? Did u perhaps change ur fodder overnight?.
      .
      Or padana/Ghanakka wibhushaba to ur god father changed it all?😎🐃😎🐃😎🐃😎

      • 2
        1

        Trump fans are said to be on hay instead of most favourite corn flakes.
        It s worth getting checked by ur nutritionist/ longer u wait the harm on us CT commenters beyond estimation.
        😎🐃😎🐃🐕

      • 3
        0

        “There is no wave in Lanka” , isn’t it the same we heard a year ago , third safest country to live, until sh*it hit the fan. Even though Lanka was fortunate to have ample time to prepare, you know what happened. Pandemic doesn’t mean the Virus will appear throughout world at the same time, but eventually can get to all corners, only by way of human carriers.

  • 3
    0

    Now that there is no recovery for Lanka, like Nimal I too have decided to write random comments. Though there are similar people all around the world, I always find Lankans very unique, in their approach to health care. I have heard from many , including few of my relatives who see a doctor for blood pressure / diabetes / Cholesterol but ignore the recommendations, some even ridicule or boast that they have more medical knowledge than their doctor and continue in their own way managing. I am not sure how many even get regular / preventive checkups like in many other countries. People who think they are wasting money on checkups are those later get admitted in ICU with related complications and come out blaming the doctors for not taking care appropriately.

  • 3
    0

    It took years to develop a highly effective treatment for heart attack, mostly caused by unhealthy life style. From medical management progressed to bypass, angioplasty/stent placement and now heart transplant. But somehow, people are demanding 100 % foolproof vaccine for a pandemic within months. People who are not familiar to the field, do not freely opine on complex matters related to Law, Accountancy, Engineering , technology —- etc—-etc., but when it comes to health matters every one is a doctor ( some are more than a doctor). Irony is that, none of the above are as significant as health concerning to morbidity/mortality.

  • 3
    1

    This is in no way condoning, yet a fact. I repeatedly hear people accusing Big pharma, hospitals, doctors, money making —-etc. The truth is most countries in the world spend least amount of money on heath care compared to all other services. Then how on earth do we expect advanced treatments, medications, life saving measures, which cost billions of $. For a fact, Lankan govt didn’t even have the money to procure the available vaccine and hence delayed. It is those big pharmas, private agencies , institutes, hospitals which finance, support, conduct Research and development so that these advance treatments including vaccines, are available to us. With the given economic situation, all major economies together could not have managed in producing a single vaccine. Thanks to Biden who not only consulted but financially supported in speeding up research, development and production. People who ridicule the vaccines will never realize the impact of these vaccines being delayed by months or a year.

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