COVID-19 disease severity in US Veterans infected during Omicron and Delta variant predominant periods
AbstractThe SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is thought to cause less severe disease among the general population, but disease severity among at-risk populations is unknown. We performed a retrospective analysis using a matched cohort of United States veterans to compare the disease severity of subjects infected during Omicron and Delta predominant periods within 14 days of initial diagnosis. We identified 22,841 matched pairs for both periods. During the Omicron period, 20,681 (90.5%) veterans had mild, 1308 (5.7%) moderate, and 852 (3.7%) severe disease. During the Delta predominant period, 19,356 (84.7%) had mild, 1467 (6.4%) moderate, and 2018 (8.8%) severe disease. Moderate or severe disease was less likely during the Omicron period and more common among older subjects and those with more comorbidities. Here we show that infection with the Omicron variant is associated with less severe disease than the Delta variant in a high-risk older veteran population, and vaccinations provide protection against severe or critical disease.