The new Omicron variant may have a greater ability than other strains of the virus to escape immune protection from antibodies produced by previous COVID-19 infection, and potentially vaccines.
That’s according to a new, peer-reviewed study published on Saturday in the journal Emerging Microbes & Infection.
In order to conduct the study, researchers looked at 28 serum samples from patients who were recovering from the original COVID-19 strain, known as SARS-CoV-2.
These were tested against test-tube or in-vitro samples of Omicron and other strains deemed “variants of concern” by the World Health Organization, including Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta.
According to the Journal publication The study conducted in a lab suggests that Omicron “exceeds” all other variants in its potential capability to evade the protection gained from previous COVID-19 infection or vaccination
The findings also suggest that although a third dose of vaccines can significantly boost immunity, the protection from Omicron may be compromised.
The results support recent findings in South Africa which highlight that for Omicron it was easy to evade immunity, they noted.
Also Researches cautioned 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”.
More research carried out not just in-vitro but in real-world studies is urgently needed to better understand Omicron.
More population studies, including the level of immune protection and symptoms among people infected with Omicron are needed to fully establish the global impact of Omicron on the control of pandemic
The major caveat of this study is that it is in-vitro in nature and that it used pseudo typed or manufactured viruses.
The current vaccine literature “has established that the in-vitro neutralisation assays are good predictors of vaccine protection efficacy and real-world vaccine effectiveness.
Toady in UK at least one person has died in the United Kingdom after contracting the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, warning that the variant now accounted for 40 per cent of infections in the British capital.
Since the first Omicron cases were detected on Nov. 27 in the United Kingdom, Johnson has imposed tougher restrictions and on Sunday he urged people to get booster shots to prevent the health service from being overwhelmed.