COVID vaccines induce lower antibodies against omicron

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In a new study from the University of Oxford, researchers analyzed the impact of the omicron COVID-19 variant of concern on one of the immune responses generated by vaccination.

They found a decrease in neutralizing antibodies generated in responses to vaccination against, or infection from, COVID-19.

The results showed that the omicron variant has the potential to drive a further wave of infections, including among those already vaccinated.

In the study, the team used blood samples from individuals who had previously received two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

The team says these data are important but are only one part of the picture.

They only look at neutralizing antibodies after the second dose, but do not tell us about cellular immunity, and this will also be tested using stored samples once the assays are available.

Importantly, researchers have not yet assessed the impact of a “third dose” booster, which they know significantly increases antibody concentrations, and it is likely that this will lead to improved potency against the omicron variant.

The team says real-world effectiveness data has shown us that vaccines continue to protect against severe disease with previous variants of concern. The best way to protect us going forward in this pandemic is by getting vaccines in arms.

If you care about COVID, please read studies about this stuff in the lungs drives COVID-19 deaths, and findings that scientists find a new risk factor for severe COVID-19.

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The study is published on the pre-print server MedRxiv. One author of the study is Professor Gavin Screaton.

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