Omicron: Bernard Kaic Hints at Epidemiological Measure Alterations

By 18 January 2022

January the 18th, 2022 - Epidemiologist Bernard Kaic has hinted at possible epidemiological measure alterations in Croatia, stating that the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus behaves like a ''totally different virus''.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Omicron seems to be able to get around the immune systems of those who have had previous covid infections, but also in those who have been vaccinated against it. For example, among those who were registered as newly infected on Sunday, about 30 percent were vaccinated with two doses, and five percent with three (the third being their booster dose).

That said, those who have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus and those who have earned their immunity naturally (by contracting and recovering from the disease) usually only have milder symptoms when they catch Omicron.

Bernard Kaic from the Croatian National Institute of Public Health has emphasised that the Omicron variant seems to successfully avoid previously acquired immunity because it behaves almost like an entirely new virus of its own.

He also pointed out that his colleagues from the field recently sent him the example of a young man who fell ill just one month after first contracting the virus and becoming unwell.

"We'll probably need to change the recommendation to get vaccinated earlier after having the first illness, let's say three months after a person has their first illness," Bernard Kaic told

"Those who have contracted and recovered from coronavirus should be vaccinated after being ill, regardless of whether they've been vaccinated before or not," said epidemiologist Bernard Kaic, who added that when it comes to Omicron, it appears much harder to remain uninfected.

Alemka Markotic, the director of Zagreb's ''Dr. Fran Mihaljevic'' Clinic for Infectious Diseases explained that the existing coronavirus vaccines don't offer protection against Omicron infection in a high percentage, but they do up to around 30 percent. They do however offer a far higher level of protection against serious clinical pictures requiring hospitalisation, and against death.

Alemka Markotic stated that two doses of the vaccine protect up to 65 and more percent, and the third booster offers protection over 80 to 90 percent - from more severe forms of illness and death.

''The unvaccinated are the reservoirs of new variants of the novel coronavirus, which dictate the development of the epidemic,'' explained Professor Vlahovicek.

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