The existing Covid-19 vaccines are unable to protect people against the Omicron variant even with a booster dose, a new study suggests.
According to foreign media reports, the neutralizing capability of antibodies induced by two-dose vaccination with the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines are significantly inferior against the Omicron variant, according to the study published on Thursday in the journal Nature. Antibodies created in people who recovered from natural Covid-19 infection showed even weaker neutralizing capability. That is, both people who recovered from natural Covid-19 infection and those who are fully vaccinated are still exposed to the risk of Omicron infection.
Based on the results, the U.S. scientists predict that the vaccines will not provide sufficient protection even with a booster dose. “It is desirable to take the booster jab because this will strengthen immunity to a certain extent, but it would be inefficient to protect against Omicron infection,” said David Ho, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Columbia University medical school who led the study. “Monoclonal antibody treatment,” which is isolated to bind only with viral antigens was virtually ineffective in treating the omicron variant as well.
The U.S. research team said they have discovered additional mutations dodging antibodies in spike proteins of the Omicron variant. “Omicron avoids neutralizing antibody in the most effective way among the existing Covid-19 variants,” the team said.
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