Home/ News / India/  ‘Omicron can increase immunity against Delta only if…’ WHO chief scientist on COVID variants. Read here

Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist of World Health Organization (WHO) pointed out that Omicron infection can increase immunity against Delta variant, but only if you are vaccinated against coronavirus. But the same does not apply if you have not taken the jab. 

“So, infection is not a substitute for vaccination, as some are suggesting!"

This comes in response to a study that also suggests, Vaccination helps in the Omicron response. Despite the vaccinated individuals starting out with almost identical and low neutralization as the unvaccinated, their neutralization went higher.

Neutralizing immunity to Delta was boosted in the vaccinated. Not so in a subset of unvaccinated. In fact, based on neutralization, the vaccinated were better protected against Delta than Omicron. Again, not true for unvaccinated, the study stated.

“Neutralization of Omicron overall was not very high relative to what comes up with Delta infection (some of the results in this paper). Perhaps because of the milder course of Omicron."

Hopefully, all this means Delta is on its way out as Omicron may shut the door on Delta re-infections. Provided enough people vaccinate. The unvaccinated lose out on the extra Omicron protection and don't gain a boost to Delta. ir added.

The study will be soon published in medRxiv

This comes at a time when the world is battling against the Omicron variant of covid-19. India logged 682 new cases of Omicron, taking the total tally of such infections to 8,891 across 29 states and UTs so far, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.

Maharashtra recorded the maximum number of 1,860 cases. As per the Maharashtra's health bulletin, 122 new Omicron cases came into light yesterday. A total of 959 patients infected with the highly transmissible variant have already recovered in the state.


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Updated: 18 Jan 2022, 06:25 PM IST
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