‘Omicron has been a tsunami,’ with an average of 100,000 infections per day from December to May, says the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force

Half of the Canadian population — more than 17 million people — were infected with Omicron in only five months starting in December 2021, a report by the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF) says.

The results are based on population seropositivity — “the proportion of people with antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in their blood,” the report explained — using data  from 21 studies that CITF reviewed. The report showed that prior to Omicron, just seven per cent of Canadians had antibodies from being infected by the virus. The proportion rose by 45 per cent from December 2021 to May 2022.

That’s an average of around 100,000 infections per day, said CITF Executive Director Dr. Tim Evans in a statement.

“Omicron has been a tsunami,” he said, adding that new sublineages of the virus have been spreading since then, pushing the percentage of Canadians who have been infected “well above” 50 per cent.

The analysis of the studies also found that Canadians of all ages and from all provinces were affected by the virus. Around 50 to 60 per cent of those in western and central provinces showed signs of being previously infected by the end of May, compared to Atlantic Canada, at over 35 per cent. No data was available from the three territories, the report said.

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