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NYT: Vaccines except Pfizer and Moderna shots offer no protection against Omicron

NYT: Vaccines except Pfizer and Moderna shots offer no protection against Omicron

Posted December. 21, 2021 07:40,   

Updated December. 21, 2021 07:40


Most COVID-19 vaccines other than messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines, such as Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, will not likely to offer protection against the Omicron variant, The New York Times (NYT) reported on Sunday (local time). There are rising concerns that infections would increase and new variants would emerge in low-income countries, which have relied on vaccines other than mRNA vaccines. A research found that the Omicron variant neutralizes antibody treatment for COVID-19.

The NTY reported that only the Pfizer and Moderna shots appear to have provided protection against serious illness from Omicron. The UK Health Security Agency (HAS) said on last Sunday that the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Omicron infection fell to 0 percent six months after vaccination. The Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine, whose demand is surging in Africa, “does little to nothing to stop the spread of Omicron,” NYT pointed out. China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines, which account for almost half of COVID-19 vaccine doses delivered globally, “offer almost zero protection from Omicron infection,” NYT wrote, adding those vaccines are widely used in countries such as Mexico and Brazil. The Russian Sputnik vaccine, which is being used in Africa and Latin America, shows “dismal rates of protection” against Omicron.

Wealthy countries did not share mRNA vaccine technology and as a result, low-income countries had to rely on non-mRNA vaccines, said Tolbert Nyenswah, a senior researcher with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He pointed out that new variants will continue to emerge from those countries as a consequence, prolonging the pandemic.

According to The Associated Press on Monday, U.S. Pharmaceutical companies Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly and Company said their antibody treatments, which are being widely used in American hospitals after being authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have “diminished potency” verses Omicron. Their antibody treatments are being used to prevent against severe disease. The two companies said they can quickly develop new antibodies but it would take at least several months before the launch of those antibodies, The Associated Press reported, adding doctors will face yet another challenge.

Eun-Taek Lee nabi@donga.com