Scientists from the National Institutes for Food and Drug Control in China found that people previously infected with COVID, and those vaccinated, will have some, “stronger than basic” defense against the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
They found it “exceeds” all other variants in its potential capability to evade the protection gained from previous infection or vaccination.
The findings also suggest that although a third-dose enhancement strategy can strongly boost immunity, the protection from Omicron may be compromised—but more research is needed to better understand this.
The research is published in Emerging Microbes & Infection and was conducted by Youchun Wang et al.
In the study, the team looked at 28 serum samples from patients recovering from the original strain of SARS-CoV-2.
They tested these against in-vitro Omicron samples, as well as four other strains marked ‘of concern’ by the World Health Organization (such as Delta), and two variants marked as ‘of interest’.
The researchers found a large number of mutations of the Omicron variant did cause big changes in neutralization sensitivity against people who had already had COVID.
However, the average ED50 (protection level) against Omicron is still higher than the baseline, which indicated there is still some protection effect that can be observed.
The team says that because the antibody protection—in the form of previous infection or vaccination—decreases gradually over a period of six months, Omicron may be able to escape immunity even better.
Plus, they predict that whilst a third-dose enhancement strategy can strongly boost immunity, the protection from Omicron may be compromised.
This study verifies the enhanced immune escape of the Omicron variant, which sounds the alarm to the world and has important implications for public health planning and the development of matching strategies.
If you care about omicron, please read studies that omicron infection just 20 days after Delta, and this drug combo can effectively fight COVID-19.
For more information about Covid, please see recent studies that new nasal spray booster keeps COVID-19 at bay, and results showing your BMI number linked to risks of death and ICU stay in COVID-19.
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