“The new variant Xe seems more contagious and a person who has two doses today is practically not vaccinated“. To sound the alarm is Walter Ricciardi, consultant to the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza. To discuss, the isolation of the new varinate Xe, a mix between Omicron 1 and Omicron 2. Which could be about 10% more contagious than BA.2.
In an interview with Agorà, Professor Ricciardi therefore comments on the epidemiological situation in Italy – characterized by the recent surge in infections driven by Omicron 2 – and talks about the new sub-variant Xe. Who is most prone to infection? Let’s go into detail.
New variant Xe: “With two doses you are not vaccinated”
In an interview with the Rai 3 program Agorà, the consultant of the Ministry of Health Walter Ricciardi commented on the Italian epidemiological picture and beyond. Under the magnifying glass, the new Xe variant, a mix between Omicron 1 and Omicron 2. Mix that could be up to 10% more contagious than BA.2.
To protect oneself from the new sub-variant, according to Professor Ricciardi it is therefore essential to undergo the third dose of Covid vaccine. In fact, two doses would be insufficient. Here are the expert’s words: “The new Omicron Xe variant seems more contagious and a person who has 2 doses today is practically not vaccinated“.
The new sub-variant was discovered in the UK. From the first analyzes, the mix of Omicron 1 and 2, but symptoms, duration and incubation are yet to be delineated. “Under observation – continues Ricciardi – there are 600 cases in Great Britain, which partly facilitates the formation of variants also because since 24 February it has no restrictions“.
And on the new variant he adds: “Xe no longer seems lethal for the moment, it seems more contagious and this is worrying because it generates a huge contagion with the involvement of citizens and even health professionals: at the moment in Great Britain they expect 20 hours for an ambulance, they are unable to give answers either in an emergency or in an election. The wait for elective surgery is 10 years“.
As the expert explains, the virus also infects vaccinated people. In particular, those who have not undergone the booster. “This vaccination – continues Ricciardi – it is made with 3 doses. A person who has 2 doses today is practically not vaccinated. This disease does not give permanent immunity, even a recovered person can become reinfected. Up to 4% of people reinfect and there are people who reinfect more than twice. We must mentally prepare ourselves for a long-lasting battle that does not end with the legal emergency: vaccinations, green passes, masks and wise behaviors must be kept“.
Alert variant Xe, here is who is most prone to infection
As Ricciardi explains, the infections spread in particular in the groups characterized by a reduced vaccination coverage: «Pediatric vaccination was a failure, not even reaching 38%. I explain it with the distrust of parents who fear more the vaccine than the disease, without realizing that the disease is insidious: we know how it begins but we do not know how it ends, in 10% of children we have Long Covid with a long situation of exhaustion“.
And on the hypothesis extension of the obligation to wear masks indoors he concludes: “Minister Roberto Speranza clearly said that the decision will be made on the basis of the infections. Cases are likely to increase. Wuhan’s variant R0 index was 2.4-2.6. We are now between 15 and 22, a person who enters an enclosed space infects on average between 15 and 22. The masks are a very important garrison“.