All vaccines, especially mRNAs, appear to provide a significant degree of protection against severe disease, hospitalization and the risk of death from Covid-19 disease caused by the new “Omicron” variant of the coronavirus. But only mRNA vaccines (Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna), especially when given the third dose, appear to be successful in preventing virus infection and simple infection, according to the first studies. And, unfortunately, these more advanced vaccines are not available in most parts of the world, but mainly in developed countries.
Preliminary research shows that Covid-19 vaccines, which are not mRNA and are used in many countries, offer almost no protection against being infected with Omicron. This, according to the New York Times, concerns vaccines such as AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, the Chinese vaccines Sinopharm and Sinovac, and the Russian Sputnik, which provide more or less protection against serious disease, but do very little for to stop the spread of “Omicron”. Because many countries, especially developing ones, have based their vaccination programs on such non-mRNA vaccines, this could have serious implications for the 2022 pandemic.
A global outbreak of infection in a world where there are still billions of unvaccinated people not only threatens the health of vulnerable people but also increases the risk of new, worse coronavirus variants emerging. In general, in the future, due to “Omicron”, the ability of countries to deal with the pandemic is expected to expand.
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Most data – so far – are based on laboratory studies and not on clinical data, so they fail to take into account the full range of immune response. Nevertheless, they provide a first impression. The Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which have the latest mRNA technology, provide the best protection against the risk of infection from any variant (including “Omicron”). Chinese, which accounts for almost half of all doses administered worldwide to date (partly because China’s population, which has made almost exclusively domestic vaccines is huge), offers almost zero protection against Omicron infection. ». Chinese vaccines have been widely administered in several other countries such as Mexico and Brazil.
According to initial data from Britain, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine did not show the ability to stop Omicron infection six months after vaccination. 90% of those vaccinated in India have had this vaccine under a different name (Covishield), and it has been widely administered in sub-Saharan Africa. The Russian Sputnik, which is also used in Africa and South America, according to scientists, is also predicted to be ineffective against Omicron infection. The monogamous Johnson & Johnson, which has been in high demand in Africa lately, has also shown little ability to block Omicron infection.
On the other hand, the above vaccines, according to the first studies, may not do well against mild or asymptomatic infection, but they have not significantly lost the ability to prevent serious disease. This, however, is not enough to prevent Omicron from creating global problems in health systems.
Moderna protects against “Omicron”
Moderna Inc announced yesterday that the boost dose of its Covid-19 vaccine shows in laboratory tests that it protects against the fast-moving variant “Omicron” and that the current version of the vaccine will continue to be the “first line of defense against it”. Omicron “” by Moderna.
The company announced that its decision to focus on the current vaccine, mRNA-1273, was driven in part by how quickly the recently discovered variant is transmitted.
The company is still planning to develop a vaccine to protect specifically against Omicron, which it hopes will reach clinical trials early next year.
The company said that two doses of its vaccine produce low neutralizing antibodies against the “Omicron” variant, but a booster dose of 50 micrograms increases the neutralizing antibodies against the variant by 37 times.