A lot of new information has emerged about the new Omicron variant in the past 24 hours concerning such critical issues as whether it will evade vaccines, how transmissible it is and possible new types of the strain.
While the WHO says the variant will not dodge the existing vaccines (see previous post), Reuters has reported that early data from South Africa shows
some evidence that the Omicron variant can partially evade protection from the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.
Researchers found there was about a 40-fold reduction in vaccine-induced antibodies that could neutralise Omicron relative to an earlier strain.
Alex Sigal, a professor at the Africa Health Research Institute, said on Twitter there was “a very large drop” in neutralization of the Omicron variant relative to an earlier strain of COVID-19.
The lab tested blood from 12 people who had been vaccinated with two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, according to a manuscript posted on the website for his lab. The preliminary data in the manuscript has not yet been peer reviewed.
Blood from five out of six people who had been vaccinated as well as previously infected with COVID-19 still neutralized the Omicron variant, the manuscript said.
“These results are better than I expected. The more antibodies you got, the more chance you’ll be protected from Omicron,” Sigal said on Twitter.
He said the lab had not tested the variant against blood from people who had received a booster dose, because they are not available in South Africa yet.
Source : https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2021/dec/08/covid-live-news-south-korea-surge-sparks-hospital-alarm-stealth-omicron-variant-found?filterKeyEvents=false&page=with:block-61b00bf38f08cfef2cf61348360