Serbian epidemiologist expects new COVID-19 peak in second half of January

Patients wait in line to receive a dose of Astra Zeneca (Vaxzevria) or Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Belgrade Fair makeshift vaccination center. [EPA-EFE / ANDREJ CUKIC]

Epidemiologist Predrag Kon estimated that a new leap in coronavirus infections awaits Serbia in the second half of January.

Kon appealed to the citizens of Serbia to avoid mass gatherings for the holidays if they are not vaccinated because the risk is significant.

“It is expected that (the new wave of coronavirus) will happen during the winter season because it is easier to transmit due to cold weather, but we are already seeing a slowdown in the spread of the virus,” he said, adding that it was a “false picture”.

When it comes to the omicron strain of coronavirus, it is necessary to receive the third dose because the vaccine’s effectiveness decreases if a person is vaccinated with only two doses.

“With Omicron, it can be seen that the efficiency of vaccination decreases with two doses, it falls below 40%, and with the third, it rises to 75%. These are the first data sets from Israel, where Omicron is present in the population,” the epidemiologist said.

Over the past 24 hours, 29 people died of COVID-19 while 1,267 tested positive for the virus, a post on the website on Tuesday said.

Currently, 2,314 people have been hospitalised, of whom 108 are on ventilators. A total of 15,846 people were tested for the virus in the past 24 hours.

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