Omicron subvariants escape vaccine antibodies, as per new study- Check Details

Omicron subvariants escape vaccine antibodies: The ability of the COVID vaccine or previous infection to neutralize the BA.4 and BA.5  subvariants of Omicron, is several times lower compared with the original coronavirus. 

Updated: Jun 23, 2022 16:35 IST
Omicron escape vaccine antibodies
Omicron escape vaccine antibodies

Omicron ba4 and ba5 symptoms: A new study by the Harvard Medical School has claimed that Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 has appeared to escape the antibody responses among both those who had an infection and those who have been fully vaccinated and boosted. As per the author of the paper and Director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research in Boston, we observed 3-fold reductions of neutralizing antibody titers induced by vaccination and infection against BA4 and BA5 compared with BA1 and BA2, which are already substantially lower than the original COVID-19 variants.

Check the details of the latest research that has claimed Omicron subvariants escape vaccine antibodies.

COVID Omicron variant: What do we know?

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in China in late 2019, as many as five variants- Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron- have been identified with Omicron being the most transmissible. COVID-19 still persists and continues to prevail in many countries, including India, despite millions being inoculated.

However, the Omicron variant is considered less infectious as the rate of severe infection and fatality is relatively low.

Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are the fastest spreading variants reported to date, and they are expected to dominate the transmission in the United States, United Kingdom, and the rest of the Europe within the next few weeks.

How the study discovered Omicron subvariants escape vaccine antibodies?

The ability of the COVID vaccine or previous infection to neutralize the BA.4 and BA.5  subvariants of Omicron, is several times lower compared with the original coronavirus, as per the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The data suggests that these new Omicron subvariants will likely be able to lead to surges of infections in populations with high levels of vaccine immunity as well as natural B1 and BA2 immunity.

Omicron subvariants escape vaccine antibodies: What the study said?

In the study, among 27 research participants who had been vaccinated and boosted with Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, the researchers found that two weeks after the booster dose, levels of neutralizing antibodies against Omicron subvariants were much lower than the response against the original Coronavirus.

The neutralizing antibody levels were lower by a factor of 6.4 against BA.1; by a factor of 7 against BA.2; by a factor of 14.1 against BA.2.12.1 and by a factor of 21 against BA.4 or BA.5.

Also, among the 27 participants who had been previously infected with the BA.1 or BA.2 subvariants a median of 29 days earlier, the researchers found similar results.

The data further suggests that COVID-19 still has the capacity to mutate further, resulting in increased transmissibility and increased antibody escape.

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