Oxford University study says omicron can achieve double vaccination effect

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LONDON – Two doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca or PfizerBioNTech Scientists have found that the Covid-19 vaccine is significantly less effective at blocking omicrons than earlier variants of the coronavirus.

However, the researchers are optimistic that a booster shot will improve immunity against the new, highly transmissible variant.

In a new study published Monday, researchers from the University of Oxford examined people’s blood samples 28 days after they received a second dose of either vaccine.

When omicrons were introduced into those samples, the scientists reported a “significant decrease” in neutralizing antibodies against Covid compared with the immune responses seen against the earlier variants.

The research article notes that some vaccine recipients “cannot inactivate [the virus] at all.”

This will likely lead to an increased spike in infections in previously infected or dual-vaccinated individuals, which could spur an increase in infections, the study authors said. a further wave of infections, although there is currently no evidence of the potential for serious illness, hospitalization or death.”

Pre-print study, still not peer-reviewed, was published on the MedRxiv server.

Gavin Screamon, head of Oxford University’s Department of Health Sciences and lead author of the paper, said in a press release on Monday that the findings would “underscore the message that people recommended booster vaccination should do it.”

“While there is no evidence of an increased risk of severe illness or death from the virus among vaccinated populations, we must remain cautious, as more cases will cause place a significant burden on health care systems”.

Co-author Teresa Lambe, professor of immunization at the University of Oxford, added: “Vaccinations generate many branches of our immune system, including neutralizing antibodies and T cells.”

“Real-world efficacy data have shown us that vaccines continue to protect against serious diseases with variants of the past of interest. The best way to protect us in the future is in the future. This pandemic is the use of vaccines in weapons.”

A report released by the UK’s Health Security Agency on Friday estimated that two doses of the Covid vaccine were significantly less effective at preventing symptomatic disease caused by infection from the omicron variant. compared to delta. However, the report notes that after a booster dose, the vaccine is said to be 70 to 75 percent effective at preventing symptomatic infections.

“With previous variants, the vaccine’s effectiveness against severe illness, including hospitalization and death, was higher than against mild disease,” UKHSA said. “It will take several weeks before the effect is estimated for severe disease with Omicron, however based on this experience the number is likely to be significantly higher than the estimate for symptomatic disease.”

In a televised statement on Sunday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Britain faces a “tide wave” of Omicron infections, and announced that the country will accelerate its ramp-up program to give all adults a third dose of the vaccine by the end of the year. The government had previously aimed to expand the booster program to all people over the age of 18 by the end of January.

Johnson’s statement came after the medical chiefs of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland raising the UK’s coronavirus threat level to four – second highest – in terms of omicron spread.

Elsewhere, a Israeli research published on Saturday showed that a three-dose course of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provided significant protection against the omicron variant. Israel began the strengthening program in July.

The discovery from Israel comes after researchers in South Africa found that omicrons can partially avoid immunity from two shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The omicron variant, thought to be more infectious than its predecessor delta, was first identified in South Africa in November and has since spread to at least 38 countries in the world and 25 US states.


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