Antibodies from Pfizer Vaccine Could Be Up to 40 Times Less Effective Against Omicron, First Lab Tests Show World news – .

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Antibodies from Pfizer Vaccine Could Be Up to 40 Times Less Effective Against Omicron, First Lab Tests Show World news – .


Analysis by Tom Clarke, Science and Technology Writer

This is the data scientists have been waiting for since the discovery of the Omicron variant. It is very preliminary and the figures are subject to change. But these figures are significant.

In people vaccinated against COVID-19 with two injections of the Pfizer vaccine, the ability of their antibodies to neutralize Omicron has been reduced by 20 to 40 times compared to the original COVID variant against which all of our vaccines are made.

That’s a huge reduction from the variants we’ve seen before. The beta variant (formerly known as the South African variant) was one of the more potent variants showing this ‘immune breakout’, but based on this analysis, the Omicron variant is five to ten times better. to escape the antibodies.

Although the effect observed in this study is significant, it is much better than some immunologists feared. There were private concerns that the vaccines would have no impact against Omicron.

“We saw a lot of breakouts,” said Alex Sigal of the Africa Health Research Institute in Durban, who led the study. “But I think the news is pretty good. “

The fact that vaccine antibodies still recognize Omicron is significant. Especially since there are other parts of the immune system, such as T cells, which could also act against it.

But the most promising finding is the fact that people who had previously been infected with COVID-19, in addition to being vaccinated, had much improved protection against Omicron.

This would indicate that in places like South Africa, where infection rates have been high in the past, Omicron’s impact could be reduced. It also bodes well for booster vaccination programs like the one in the UK.

Further studies, on a larger number of people, will be necessary to confirm these results. But they are the first direct evidence that we have the scale of the challenge that Omicron could pose.

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