Medical Technology

US Study Suggests COVID-19 Vaccines Ineffective Against Omicron Without Booster

NEW YORK (Reuters) – All three U.S.-authorized COVID-19 vaccines seem to be less effective against the recently discovered Omicron variant of the coronavirus in laboratory testing, but the booster dose could restore most of the protection, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The preprint study from researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard and MIT that has not yet been peer reviewed. blood samples of people who have received the Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccinations against an engineered pseudovirus that resembles the Omicron variant.

The researchers found “low to absent” neutralization of the antibody variant of the routine regimens of all three vaccines – two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccinations or one of J&J’s single-dose vaccine.

The study found that blood samples from recent recipients of a booster dose was a strong neutralization the variant.

Omicron may also be more infective than other variants of concern with Omicron being about twice as likely to transmit to Delta as the predominant variant. Omicron could soon overtake Delta.

The results are in line with other studies that were recently published. Researchers from the University of Oxford stated Monday that they had found that the two-dose Pfizer COVID-19 and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine regimens could not generate enough neutralizing antibodies to the new variant.

BioNTech and Pfizer announced last week that three shots of COVID-19 vaccines were capable of neutralizing Omicron variants in the course of a laboratory test. However two doses of the vaccine produced significantly lower neutralizing antibodies.

Moderna and J&J have yet to share any of their own data about how the vaccines work against the new variant. J&J declined to comment on the latest study and Moderna did not respond to a request for comments.

SOURCE: medRxiv, online December 14, 2021.

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