Early Omicron protection unlikely to cover the new subvariants: Study

Early Omicron protection unlikely to cover the new subvariants: Study

As per a recent study, those who had contracted the earliest strain of Coronavirus variant Omicron, which was first discovered in South Africa in November 2021, are likely to be susceptible to reinfection with new versions of the virus even after being inoculated and given additional booster shots.

Vaccinated patients with breakthrough COVID-19 infections generated antibodies that could neutralize both Omicron BA.1 and SARS-COV-2 virus, however, the newest variants of Omicron have started mutating and evading those antibodies.

Notably, Omicron BA.2.12.1, the strain currently responsible for most infections in the United States, along with Omicron BA.4 and BA.5, which together account for over 21% of all new cases in the country, include mutations that are absent from the BA.1 and BA.2 lineages.

The study showcased that the monoclonal antibody drugs bebtelovimab from Eli Lilly and Company, and cilgavimab, a constituent of AstraZeneca plc's Evusheld can still efficiently neutralize BA.2.12.1 and BA.4 & BA.5.

Despite this, researchers have issued a warning that booster shots based on the BA.1 virus being developed by BioNTech SE-Pfizer Inc., and Moderna Inc. might not offer a comprehensive defense against new Omicron strains.

Unpublished research under review has reported that unvaccinated individuals infected with Omicron are unlikely to establish immunological responses that will defend them against other strains of coronavirus.

Although not engaged in the research, Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York City, contends that vaccines that address maximum varieties of the virus against contagion and transmission by eliciting resistance in the nasal passages, in which the virus first enters, could offer effective and thorough protection. He suggests that by the time one variant-specific vaccine is accessible, a revamped version takes over.

Similarly, another Yale School of Medicine researcher, Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu, stated that the ideal thing one can do is keep up with immunizations and booster shots because they are people's safest bet for maintaining the required level of antibodies and fighting the disease.

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Rashi Thakkar

Rashi Thakkar

Rashi started her journey in content when she was completing her MBA. Since then, she has helped well-known startups and businesses boost their online presence. Currently Rashi pens downs insightful articles for AlpenHornNews and various other websites, covering an array of sectors from finance and business to technology and healthcare.