Recent preliminary research may offer some relief to the many vaccinated Americans who encountered Omicron last winter. Two studies indicate that vaccinated people who picked up the variant went on to develop a strong and diverse immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in general — more than vaccinated and booster people or people infected with only omicron. The results could also suggest that the updated booster, possibly omicron-specific, would be more effective in ensuring long-term immunity going forward.
The results come from two preprint papers published on bioRxiv in April and May: One from University of Washington researchers and else From researchers at BioNTech, the company she developed with Moderna Spikevax covid-19 vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Studies collected blood Samples were taken from different groups of patients and looked for biomarkers of immunity against the coronavirus, that is, virus-specific antibodies and immune cells. These groups included people with omicron infection who had previously received two or three doses of the vaccine; Persons infected with the original virus or delta variant were immunized/boosted; Persons who did not have any infection were immunized/boosted; and unvaccinated persons newly infected with Omicron.
In general, the subjects vaccinated with omicron were the ones who appeared to have the strongest antibodies – not just to omicron., but to the original SARS virus and SARS-CoV-2 and variants such as Delta. The same pattern was observed with these individuals’ memory B cells, which are the cells responsible for producing new antibodies in response to a familiar microbe. However, the unvaccinated people who were only infected with omicron did not develop the same type of broad immune response.
The Washington study also found that neutralizing antibodies in the noses of those infected and vaccinated with Omicron could provide a stronger defense against future infection. They identified an antibody that appears to be particularly effective against different strains of the virus – one that may require further study as a potential treatment that can be reproduced in the laboratory.
The results of the two papers have not yet undergone formal peer review, so they should be viewed with additional caution. But they are in line with previous research suggesting that people with hybrid immunity to the coronavirus — as a result of vaccination and infection, respectively.—It can promote a broader immune response, especially when people are injured in different formats. In contrast, other research has Found Unvaccinated people infected with Omicron do not appear to develop permanent protection against other variants of the virus.
At the very least, the new findings suggest that vaccinated people who have Omicron should be well protected, for now at least. In the United States, this is a large sample size, with one study Appreciation this number threeFour Americans may have contracted it this winter. Because Omicron is so evolutionarily distinct from other virus strains, it is also possible that its updated enhancer provides a more diverse immune response than the currently available enhancer, which is still tailored to the original strain of the virus.
“This suggests that we are at a point where we might want to consider having a different vaccine to boost people,” said David Wessler, associate professor at the University of Washington and principal investigator on the Washington study, Tell Bloomberg News.
Of course, the virus does not stand still. There are indeed other strains associated with Omicron, some of which may be present able It is immune to evasion even in vaccinated people with Omicron. The continuous evolution of the virus may require regular boosters or different vaccine strategies, such as nasal spraysFor effective prevention of major disease waves in the future.
But even if we can develop these updated vaccines with sufficient efficacy, there are still more challenges ahead. Booster vaccination rates in the United States are Much less Rates seen in similar countries, lack of funding maybe you mean That any shots available this year may be rationed to Americans who are most at risk.