Thanks to committed scientists around the world, we have learned a lot about #Omicron.

Here’s what we know* now; the good news and the bad news.👇

*A lot of this research is still pre-print - things may change

🧵 [1/10]

#ScienceUpFirst OMICRON  What we know now; ...
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has A LOT of mutations.

It’s got at least 36 mutations around the spike protein (which is the target of our vaccines)

🧵 [2/10]

Omicron is more transmissible

- 2.6 to 3.7X more than Delta in vaccinated individuals (2).

- Shorter incubation period (3 days) than the OG strain (3, 4).

- Replicates 70x more than Delta in bronchus tissue (5). Could mean more virus shedding.

🧵 [3/10]

Natural immunity is less effective. Reinfection rates are higher with Omicron.

Protection via previous infection has always been less predictable than vaccine protection. With Omicron, previous infections offer less protection from reinfection (6, 7).

🧵 [4/10]

“Mild” is misleading.

Experimental evidence found Omicron causes less lung damage (8, 9, 10) and lower rates of hospitalizations and deaths (10).

But because case numbers are soaring so high, hospitalization and ICU numbers are rising too (11, 12).

🧵 [5/10]

Kids and teens are now among the rising number of Canadians being hospitalized with COVID-19

Hospitalization numbers among children are rising in the US and in parts of Canada (13, 14).

🧵 [6/10]

Vaccines continue to protect against hospitalization.

Omicron is better at evading vaccine immune protection (2). This means 2 doses might not protect you from Omicron infection. But two doses are still likely to keep you out of hospital + ICU (15, 16)


Boosters increase protection.

A third dose broadens the antibody response against variants, including Omicron (17).

🧵 [8/10]

We are not back at square one.

But with Omicron being highly infectious, and our health care systems already stretched - we need to continue layering protection.

Get boosted, mask up, ventilate, and minimize contacts where you can.

🧵 [9/10]

Questions about Omicron? Leave a reply or send us a DM.


🧵 [10/10]

#ScienceUpFirst We are not back at square o...

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More from @ScienceUpFirst

14 Jan
“Should I get Omicron and just get it over with?”

NOPE! 🙅‍♀️

We’ve heard this line of thinking from our friends and family. But we’re here to tell you that getting COVID-19 isn’t inevitable and now isn’t the time to throw our hands in the air.

🧵 [1/7]

#ScienceUpFirst Don't give up! COVID may fe...
Omicron spreads very easily, and hospitalizations are climbing.

Between Jan 3 and Jan 10, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Canada jumped from 4,113 to 6,926 and 290 more COVID-19 patients were admitted to an ICU (2).

🧵 [2/7]

#ScienceUpFirst A graph showing number of p...
We get that talking about “flattening the curve” gives serious 2020 déjà vu. 😵‍💫

But it’s truly what we need to do! Healthcare workers are dealing with record case numbers while severely short staffed (3, 4). Slowing the spread matters.

🧵 [3/7]

Read 7 tweets
14 Jan
Don’t underestimate “mild” - COVID-19 isn’t a chicken wing 🍗

There’s confusion around the severity of Omicron, let’s get into it 👇

🧵 [1/6]

#ScienceUpFirst Is Omicron “Mild”?  ICUs fi...
Good news: there is evidence of less lung damage (1,2,3); and lower rates of hospitalization and death (4).

But, what’s mild for one can be severe for others. Plus, the number of Long COVID cases related to Omicron are not yet captured.

🧵 [2/6]

The bad news: Omicron is more transmissible than all previous variants (5).

In Canada, we’ve seen the highest number of cases reported so far in the pandemic (and with limited testing, these are an underestimate) (6).

🧵 [3/6]

Read 6 tweets
7 Dec 21
We’re here to set the record straight on spike proteins.

Here’s why the spike proteins generated via the vaccine are safe, activate an effective immune response, and are *not the same* as the spike on the virus.


#ScienceUpFirst Misinformation continues to spread about spike proteins. Let
First, a little Spike Protein 101

Spike proteins live on the surface of SARS-CoV-2

The virus infects human cells by binding to receptors. Once attached, the spike protein changes shape, letting the virus infiltrate our cells.


But mRNA vaccines teach our body to make a *modified spike protein*

- This triggers an immune response that teaches our bodies to protect against real SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Read 13 tweets
19 Nov 21
What are the differences between the vaccine for people 12+ and the vaccine for those 5-11?

Check out our quick guide!

🧵 [1/8]

#ScienceUpFirst Comparing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines  Adult vaccine, for p
Both vaccines are safe and effective. ✅💉

Both use mRNA as the active ingredient. ✅💉

What’s different?

🧵 [2/8]

The colour of the vial cap is different. 👀

- 12+ vial has a purple cap 🟣

- 5-11 vial has an orange cap 🟠

🧵 [3/8]

Read 8 tweets
19 Nov 21
Health Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids 5-11 today. 🥳

NACI has also provided recommendations on how best to use the vaccines, including dose interval.

Let’s discuss why they recommend at least 8 weeks between doses.

🧵 [1/7]

#ScienceUpFirst Why at least 8 weeks between COVID-19 vaccines for kids?  (N
You may have noticed that Health Canada authorized the COVID-19 vaccine with doses 3 weeks apart. But NACI is recommending doses at least 8 weeks apart.



Why the difference?

🧵 [2/7]

Health Canada authorizes vaccines based on clinical trial data. Pfizer tested the vaccines with 3 week intervals, so that’s what Health Canada approved. ✅

🧵 [3/7]

Read 7 tweets
19 Nov 21
BREAKING: Health Canada authorizes use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children 5 to 11 years of age. 💉

Keep reading for more information.

🧵 [1/8]

#ScienceUpFirst This just in: Health Canada authorizes use of Pfizer-BioNTec
Health Canada has completed a thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence. They have determined that this vaccine is safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 for children between 5 and 11 years of age.

🧵 [2/8]

In the Phase 2/3 clinical trial, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 90.7% effective at preventing symptomatic #COVID19 in children 5 to 11 years of age.

This is great news for the 2.88 million children aged 5 to 11 in Canada. 👏

🧵 [3/8]

Read 8 tweets

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