INESC TEC and UMinho analyse the impact of the Omicron variant on the efficacy of vaccination
Researchers from INESC TEC and the University of Minho analysed the impact of the Omicron variant on the effectiveness of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 infection. The study published in the prestigious journal Scientific Reports, part of the Nature group, is the result of the work carried out by an international team within the scope of the Coronasurveys project.
01st February 2023
Thanks to a large set of data collected by the Meta platform, Carlos Baquero, professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP) and researcher at INESC TEC, together with Raquel Menezes, professor and researcher at the School of Sciences of the University of Minho (ECUM), determined the feasibility of using information on COVID-19 symptoms, obtained via a survey that monitored the evolution of the pandemic.
In particular, the results of the “Using survey data to estimate the impact of the Omicron variant on vaccine efficacy against COVID-19 infection” allowed the team to detect the number of cases during the pandemic, becoming a relevant approach to analyse a potential new epidemic – even in places with a shortage of resources.
“When the study was done, at the beginning of 2022, it was quickly possible to observe a lower effectiveness of the existing protection”, said Carlos Baquero, researcher at INESC TEC High-Assurance Software Laboratory (HASLab). “Over the following months, this lower efficacy was confirmed through a substantial increase in infections in Portugal – fortunately, with much lower effects in terms of mortality”, added Raquel Menezes, researcher at the Centre of Mathematics of U.Minho.
It’s important to mention that the data collection through Meta ended in mid-2022. Still, there is a lot of information that can be explored to obtain more results, covering various fields of application related to this subject.
The journal Scientific Reports is considered a Q1 level journal, with an impact factor of 5 – a method used to qualify scientific journals based on the citations.
The COVID-19 has led to 670 million cases and 6.82 million deaths worldwide, with 5.56 million cases and 25.987 deaths in Portugal, according to data from the University of Johns Hopkins. This infectious disease was detected three years ago in China and spread around the world in variants, with Omicron being one of the most contagious.
The INESC TEC researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with INESC TEC and UP-FEUP.