Omicron: 4 studies confirm fears over vaccine resistance
Several studies carried out in recent days highlight the resistance of the Omicron variant in relation to the immunity conferred from vaccines or from a previous infection. In different comparisons with the original strain of COVID-19 and its different variants, Omicron appears to be more resistant. We could therefore expect more infections, but there is no indication that they would be more serious, concludes one of the studies.
Human sera from COVID-19 patients and vaccinated people show “reduced binding to Omicron”. In other words, the results show that the natural immunity or the vaccine immunity is lower compared to the new variant than against the initial strain and its already known variants. “The [Omicron] variant escapes neutralization by sera from vaccinated and convalescent individuals”, headlines one of the studies, conducted by the Institute of Virology at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.
Through laboratory tests, a Chinese research team was able to quantify the loss of efficacy of the serum of people infected with COVID-19 against the Omicron variant. Their effectiveness against it has decreased. It was 8.4 times lower compared to the reference strain. In comparison, the other variants are about 1.2 to 4.5 times less effective than the reference strain.
“The discovery of our in vitro testing suggests that the Omicron variant may lead to a more significant escape of immune protection caused by a previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 and possibly even by existing COVID-19 vaccines. “
< p>Another study, Sino-English this one, specifies that this could increase the infections without however expecting more serious cases. “This is likely to lead to an increase in infections in people previously infected or doubly vaccinated, which could lead to a new wave of infections, although there is currently no evidence of an increased potential to cause serious illness.” , hospitalization or death, “the authors explain.
These data could be explained by the fact that Omicron appears to be” antigenically more distant from the original SARS-CoV2 vaccine than the Beta and Delta strains previously the most distant ”, analyzes an English study. According to this source, Omicron could supplant the Delta variant globally and a specific vaccine may be needed. “If this were to happen, it might be necessary to produce vaccines suitable for Omicron. However, due to Omicron & rsquo; s antigenic distance, it is unlikely that the vaccines that will be developed will provide protection against earlier strains. ”