Only booster vaccination protects against Omikron, according to new study

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A new international study underscores the importance of third-party vaccination in the fight against the rampant Omicron variant of the coronavirus. According to the study by experts from Boston and Harvard, only those boosted with mRNA vaccines are protected against the new variant, while those who have recovered and been vaccinated are not. Blood samples from 239 people who had been vaccinated with Moderna, Biontech/Pfizer or Janssen were studied.

The study found that antibodies after booster with mRNA vaccines were barely weaker against omicron than against the original virus, known as wild type. In contrast, other vaccination regimens showed little or no effect against the new virus variant. The study also took into account how long ago the vaccination had taken place and whether those vaccinated had also been infected with SARS-CoV-2. Blood samples were tested for their neutralizing effect against wild type, delta, and omicron.

Neutralizing effect against the omicron variant was not detected in most samples. Only individuals boosted with mRNA vaccines exhibited neutralizing antibodies and efficacy against omicron – and at nearly the same level as against the original variant. Individuals who were vaccinated (mRNA) and recovered developed only partial neutralizing antibodies against omicron.

Detailed analysis of the pattern of effect against the three virus types also suggested that the booster not only led to higher antibody counts with a neutralizing effect, but also increased the breadth of immunity, thereby showing good activity against all three virus types. The study by scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the Ragon Institute of MGH at Harvard, Cambridge, was published only as a preprint, meaning it has not yet been peer-reviewed.

  • source: k.at/picture: pixabay.com
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