Virologist Sandra Ciesek from the University Hospital Frankfurt shows her study, which shows a significantly reduced antibody response to the new variant. “The data confirm that the development of a vaccine adapted to Omikron makes sense,” explains the expert.
She and her team had tested the neutralization ability of vaccines from various subjects against the new, worrying variant: people who had been vaccinated twice with the Biontech / Pfizer vaccine, people who had been vaccinated twice with the Moderna vaccine, and people who had been vaccinated once the Astra-Zeneca vaccine and one vaccination with Comirnaty.
In all three cases, six months after the second vaccination, there was no longer any ability to neutralize Omikron. In people who were primed with Comirnaty and also boosted with the Biontech / Pfizer vaccine, the neutralization ability was 25 percent, while it was 95 percent compared to the delta variant that is currently dominant in Austria. In the short tweet, Ciesek speaks of an up to 37-fold reduction in the neutralization capacity of Omikron compared to Delta. So that doesn’t sound particularly confident.
However, Ciesek expressly points out that it is not possible to read from their analysis whether people who have been vaccinated are still protected from a severe course at Omikron. Because the immune response is not only based on antibodies, but also, for example, on T cells. In order to determine the actual protection of vaccinated persons, clinical studies with thousands of test persons or evaluations of the ongoing infection process are required.