August 13, 2022

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"Vaccines May Also Protect Against Serious Omicron Disease, Even Without a Booster"

“Vaccines May Also Protect Against Serious Omicron Disease, Even Without a Booster”

More good news is slowly flowing in about the omikron variant. For example, last week British researchers concluded that omicron may be more infectious than previous variants, but the alternative It might be less disgusting.

De Vries notes that two foreign studies were published at the same time with roughly the same results as those for Erasmus MC regarding omikron variant recognition by T cells. “They’ve done similar studies in the United States and South Africa. In general, all studies show the same results. This is good news.”

Is a booster still necessary?

According to De Vries, this does not mean that a booster is unnecessary, as T cells may prevent serious disease, but it is not a guarantee. “Our data on the booster vaccine is still limited, but at least we see that the booster boosts the antibodies a lot and that the T-cell response also increases slightly. It’s better to prevent the virus from entering your body than to prevent it from entering your body. You have to clean it up then.”

In addition, it appears that the omicron variant is much more infectious than delta cells and T cells do not protect everyone from serious diseases. If many people become infected, the wave of hospitalizations may continue. The booster can be prevented. “It is expected that the increase in antibodies would have a beneficial effect on the spread of the virus.”

There is no reason to change the policy

According to OMT member and medical microbiologist Mark Bunten, this is an important study that supports the idea that through vaccination and prior infection, T cells are trained in a way that also responds to the omicron and continues to do its job. “At least, in a test tube. We don’t yet know what that looks like in humans. So we can say very cautiously that we are protected from serious disease with Omicron.”

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It is still not clear what this study could mean for any relaxation. In its final opinion, the OMT concluded that the results of the British research on hospitalizations were not sufficient to prove that omicrons are less pathogenic.

As far as Bonten is concerned, you cannot decide to change policy based on lab research. “You want to see that for sure in hospital admissions, before you navigate a different path. There are initial signs from Denmark and England that hospital admissions are increasing. This is exciting and we have to monitor it closely.”