In an interview on ‘Mad Money’, the individualized medicine expert also stressed the importance of receiving a Covid booster, imploring eligible Americans to get the extra dose of vaccine.
“There are many reasons to be optimistic that this is not a horrible situation we find ourselves in. Vaccines should be resistant to serious illness, especially in people who are boosted, ”said Topol, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute.
There is as yet no confirmed case in the United States of the highly mutated coronavirus variant which was first detected by health officials in South Africa about a week ago. However, some health experts warn that it is only a matter of time before this happens given international travel habits.
Considering the number of spike protein mutations associated with the omicron variant, Topol said, “The main focus here is how much of it really escapes our immune system? ”
“We’re so sure that when you get a third booster shot, you get very high levels of neutralizing antibodies and you get more coverage of those antibodies,” Topol said.
“The other thing is T cells. T cells are what really protect us from serious illnesses, from pneumonia to Covid,” he continued. Antibodies and T cells are both part of the immune system’s response to fight infections.
“Our T cells are very unresponsive, unaffected by the variants, to a significant degree,” Topol said. “If you only look at biology, you would be really optimistic,” he added.
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