Home/ News / World/  Vaccines do not work on newer coronavirus omicron sub-variants: Study

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the more recent Omicron sub-variants of SARS-CoV-2 significantly evade neutralising antibodies produced by both vaccination and prior infection. According to the researchers, the study gives the immunologic context for current outbreaks in populations with high vaccination rates and histories of infection.

The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Israel researchers examined the antibody response to various SARS-CoV-2 Omicron sub-variants in 27 people who had had vaccinations and booster shots as well as 27 people who had previously contracted COVID-19.

Since the initial highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant -- known as BA.1 -- of COVID-19 emerged in 2021, its new sub-variants continue to evolve.

The three Omicron subvariants BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5 were discovered to significantly evade neutralising antibodies produced by both vaccination and prior infection. Neutralizing antibody responses to BA.4 and BA.5 were three times lower than those to the Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variants and were roughly 20 times lower than those to the original WA1/2020 strain.

"Our findings suggest that the Omicron variants have continued to evolve," said study senior author Dan H Barouch, director of the Center for Vaccine and Virology Research at BIDMC.

"This has important public health implications and provides the immunologic context for current surges among populations with high rates of vaccinations and previous infection," Barouch said.

The researchers stated that newly developed variations may be more contagious and may overcome the immune defences from earlier infections or vaccinations more successfully.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that the subsequent COVID-19 booster shots will probably be updated for omicron.The COVID-19 vaccines this fall are probably going to be based on the omicron variant of the coronavirus rather than the original strain, though some experts believe they may only provide significant benefits for older and immunocompromised individuals.

On June 24, India recorded 17,336 new daily infections of the coronavirus, the health ministry said on Friday, the highest single-day rise since Feb. 20, according to a Reuters tally.

Maharashtra recorded more than 5,200 new infections on Wednesday, state authorities said, with 2,479 of those coming from the financial capital of Mumbai.

Daily infections in India have been rising for the past month, and the number announced on Friday was a jump of more than 4,000 from Thursday's, which stood at 13,313.

The number of daily deaths from COVID-19 went up by 13, the ministry said, taking total mortalities to 524,954.

(With PTI inputs)

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Updated: 24 Jun 2022, 03:44 PM IST
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