fb-pixel Skip to main content

36 percent lower risk of hospitalization from Omicron found in Denmark

Visitors lined up at a COVID-19 PCR testing center in Valby, Denmark, on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022.Carsten Snejbjerg/Bloomberg

The risk of ending up hospitalized after a COVID-19 infection is 36 percent lower for people who were exposed to the Omicron than the Delta variant, according to a new study from health authorities in Denmark.

The study in the Nordic nation, which has one of the world’s most ambitious programs for testing and variant screening, showed that 0.6 percent of those infected with the new variant were admitted to hospital, compared with 1.5 percent of those who tested positive for Delta.

The results are in line with earlier indications from countries including the UK, where a Health Security Agency analysis showed a 47 perfect reduction in the risk of presentation to emergency care or hospital admission with Omicron compared to Delta. The sheer number of infections still remains a cause for concern, as case numbers soar to new record levels across Europe.

Advertisement



The research included 188,980 people who were tested positive in the period between Nov. 21 and Dec. 19 last year, when Omicron emerged to replace delta as the dominant variant.

In Denmark, a third consecutive daily record for the number of cases was set on Thursday, as 40,626 infections and 15 deaths were reported in the country of 5.8 million. Despite the continuing surge in cases, Denmark has lifted some restrictions and the government is considering further easing, as the number of patients in intensive care units is declining.

The new report also showed that while vaccines may not prevent infections with Omicron, they are effective in reducing the risk of more serious outcomes.

“Vaccination can prevent three of four hospital admission among people who test positive after being infected with either the Omicron or the Delta variant,” Tyra Grove Krause, a top official at the Danish Statens Serum Institut, said in a statement. “This shows that the decoupling between case numbers and hospital admissions are partly due to the new variant, but to an even larger degree it is due to the high level of vaccine coverage.”

Advertisement



More than 80 percent of the Danish population have been vaccinated with two doses and close to 60 percent have taken booster shots.