Los Angeles (PTI): Vaccinated adults have a lower risk of severe illness due to Omicron variant of coronavirus, and are less likely to land in intensive care compared with unvaccinated patients, a US study suggests.

The study, published in a weekly report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also found that during the Omicron period fewer patients died while hospitalised, compared with those admitted when the Delta variant was dominant.

"Overall, the Omicron-period group had a lower likelihood of being admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and were also less likely to require invasive mechanical ventilation compared with the Delta-period group," said Matthew Modes, a pulmonologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in the US, and co-first author of the study.

The researchers looked at the characteristics of 339 patients hospitalised with COVID-19 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from July to September of 2021, when the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 was dominant.

They compared that group with 737 patients admitted with COVID-19 during December 2021-January 2022, when the Omicron variant was most prevalent.

Clinical information was gathered from the electronic health records of the patients in the study.

The analysis shows that a greater portion of the patients hospitalised during Omicron were vaccinated as compared to patients hospitalised during the summer of 2021 when the Delta variant predominated.

"In addition to the protection that vaccination offered people admitted to the hospital when Omicron dominated, we saw that the addition of a booster dose appeared to be particularly important in reducing the severity of illness, especially among older adults," said senior author of the study Peter Chen, from Cedars-Sinai.

"Unvaccinated patients hospitalised with COVID-19 during the Omicron variant dominance still had a higher chance of being admitted with serious complications and appeared to be at higher risk for the development of respiratory failure, compared with vaccinated patients," said Chen.

The researchers noted that vaccination, including a booster dose for those who are fully vaccinated, remains critical for mitigating the risk of severe illness associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

"A clear pattern emerges if you take just the Omicron-period patients and compare their vaccination status against the percentage of them who ended up in the ICU," said Michael Melgar, a co-first author of the study and a medical officer with the CDC.

"The more vaccinated someone is -- from unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, fully vaccinated without a booster dose to fully vaccinated with a booster dose -- the better the outcome for the patient," Melgar added.

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Bengaluru/Mantralayam (PTI): Senior BJP leader B S Yediyurappa on Thursday said party leaders will begin their travel across Karnataka in teams from August 21, as part of preparations in the run-up to the 2023 Assembly polls.

Bengaluru/Mantralayam (PTI): Senior BJP leader B S Yediyurappa on Thursday said party leaders will begin their travel across Karnataka in teams from August 21, as part of preparations in the run-up to the 2023 Assembly polls.

The former Chief Minister reiterated that he will not be contesting any polls here on, but will work with other BJP leaders for the party's victory and installing it in power in the State.

"From 21st (August) we will all begin travelling across the state, we have not yet decided on from where to start and it will be soon decided...in three to four teams headed by various leaders we will travel across the state in all districts," Yediyurappa said.

Speaking to reporters in Mantralayam, a pilgrim village located in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, he said the BJP will go to every division and organise large-scale events gathering lakhs of people.
"No doubt, Congress leader Siddaramaiah's 75th birthday event was a huge one, but in a month's time after our events are planned, you will realise what's our strength and what was theirs (Congress')," he added in response to a question whether Siddaramaiah's mega event will cause any setback to the BJP.
Rejecting speculation regarding Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai being replaced, the veteran leader said he doesn't expect any changes to happen at this point in time, when elections are expected in seven to eight months.
"There is no need for it (change) as well, as he (Bommai) is doing a good job, so I expect that he will continue, so there is no truth in this speculation," he said.
Responding to Congress' criticism against BJP, accusing it of forcefully removing him as CM and neglecting him, Yediyurappa reiterated that he voluntarily resigned (as CM) to make way for others, and no one forced him to do so.
"The talk that I'm being neglected in the BJP is not right, the position and respect that the party has given me cannot be compared with, I was made CM four times, I was given all sorts of responsibilities. I have faced no injustice from the party in any kind. It is my duty to pay back as a worker and will do it," he said.
Stating that during his meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah last week in Bengaluru, they discussed political developments in the state, Yediyurappa said he has assured him about working along with other leaders towards bringing BJP back to power in the state.
Reiterating that he will not contest in Assembly or any other elections hereon, the senior BJP leader said he will continue to remain in politics and work day and night for the party's victory.
"I have already said if the central leadership agrees, Vijayendra (son) will contest from Shikaripura (his Assembly constituency). If the party's central leadership agrees he will contest and win," he said.