New Study Shows that Omicron Infections Are Unlikely to Produce Antibodies that Can Protect Against Other COVID-19 Variants

New Study Shows that Omicron Infections Are Unlikely to Produce Antibodies that Can Protect Against Other COVID-19 Variants

According to this new study, those infected with the Omicron COVID-19 variant are not very likely to develop the necessary antibodies they need in order to fight any other variant of the virus.

In other words, when compared to the immune response resulting from receiving the available vaccines or from infections with earlier COVID variants, the antibodies produced by the Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variants are not nearly as efficient in getting rid of other versions of the virus from the body, as per a team of researchers that analyzed blood samples from patients previously infected with Omicron.

The report is currently awaiting to be peer reviewed at Nature Portfolio and has been posted on Research Square, bringing forth some interesting observations that show we still have a lot to learn about the virus.

The study proved that patients with a breakthrough Omicron infection, after having received three doses of the vaccine made to neutralize older versions of COVID, had quite high levels of neutralizing antibodies against BA.1 and BA.2.

At the same time, the efficiency of the protection acquired was lower than against previous SARS-CoV-2 versions.

Karin Stiasny and Judity Aberle, two scientists from the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, explained that amongst those whose immune systems had not been trained to recognize the virus via receiving the necessary shots or because of having experienced a previous infection, the antibodies “were very specific for the respective Omicron variant, and we detected almost no neutralizing antibodies targeting non-Omicron virus strains,” after having caught the dominant variant.

They went on to also specify that the BA.2 – induced antibodies seemed to be especially unlikely to protect people against other variants, which makes sense given the fact that it’s currently the subvariant of concern.

The research also “emphasizes the importance of booster vaccinations for immune protection,” so boosting your protection might be a good idea if you are trying to protect yourself and those around you from COVID complications.

Katherine Baldwin

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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