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The Omicron Booster Vaccines Can Maximize Resistance for the Future COVID Variants

There is very less sign that the global pandemic might end soon. The medical community is trying to find ways to avert repeated infections. The current vaccines are highly successful in preventing people from getting hospitalized, severely ill, or even death. However, there is a good chance for the new variants to lead to breakthrough infections. 

Reports suggest that any breakthrough Omicron infection will result in the added security of the ones who got vaccinated already. Studies that got sponsored by the famous brand BioNTech discovered a rise in the memory B cells along with the cross-variant neutralization post the breakthrough infection. 

There was another study by a team of scientists from University of Washington recognized an ultrapotent antibody that disappears for working against the varied Omicron variants. It also detected the neutralizing activities of the antibodies in the nose lining after the breakthrough infection. 

Hence, it is becoming increasingly essential to opt-in for the vaccine. According to a study by MyBiosource, 48% of people in Alabama, 63% in Florida, and 75% in Maryland feel that the vaccine will not affect their freedom at all. The survey got done for about 3243 mandates in December 2021. 

The breakthrough infection can enhance the defence

The study conducted by BioNTech referred to several people who got double or triple vaccinated. And they got segregated into four groups:

  • Double vaccinated people didn’t witness any breakthrough infection after the vaccine. 
  • People who are double vaccinated and had witnessed breakthrough infection. 
  • People who are triple vaccinated and witnessed a breakthrough infection. 
  • The people who are triple vaccinated and didn’t face any infection. 

The researchers had tested the blood samples collected from all the members and evaluated the serum neutralizing capacity. They had also conducted the neutralization tests making use of the live virus and the pseudovirus. Here the pseudoviruses witnessed a spike in the proteins in the Omicron BA.1 or the BA.2 variants. 

In the members, who didn’t witness the breakthrough Omicron infection, the response of the neutralizing antibody was, as anticipated, much stronger than the ones who took 3 vaccines. The reports suggested that it was the strongest regarding the earlier variants, with lesser effects against the BA.2 and BA.1 variants. Also, the neutralization of all these Omicron variants was not detectable amongst the double-vaccinated individuals who didn’t have a breakthrough infection. 

That aside, the researchers witnessed the biggest level of neutralizing antibody activity against the BA.2 and BA.1 variant in people who were triple vaccinated. Each of the vaccinated individuals possessed the memory B cells against the covid variant. But the ones with the breakthrough infections witnessed a higher frequency of the memory B cells against all the variants. 

The neutralizing activity in a person’s nose

There was another study that compared the plasma of people in the groups:

  • The ones who witnessed an early infection of the pandemic who got vaccinated with 2 doses. 
  • The ones who got vaccinated and had a breakthrough Delta infection. 
  • The ones who had the infection much early during the pandemic who got vaccinated with 3 doses. 
  • The ones who got vaccinated with 3 doses and got infected with Omicron. 
  • The ones who got vaccinated twice and got infected by the Omicron variant. 
  • The ones who got vaccinated thrice and had no breakthrough infection. 

They also came across the best plasma neutralizing activity against the Omicron BA.2 and BA.1 from the breakthrough infections and vaccinations. But the breakthrough infections started to bring about neutralizing activity in a person’s nasal mucosa. That aside, the researchers also recognized an “ultrapotent pan-variant antibody” that seemed unaffected by the spike in the Omicron mutations. 

Restricted boost from the Omicron variant alone

According to a peer-reviewed study, they had similar outcomes. The study also discovered that as the Omicron infection can afford minor cross-variant immunity, the breakthrough infection after the vaccination can improve the immunity against varied variants. Also, in humans and mice, research showed that the Omicron infection improved the pre-existing immunity resulting from the vaccination. Also, the unvaccinated individuals who have had Omicron infection highlighted the restricted neutralization of the Omicron variant. 

The points for the new vaccines

Today, the researchers aren’t suggesting that the people who have taken their vaccine dose must get infected by Omicron for maximizing their resistance for the new variant. But the findings do suggest that there is scope for further vaccine development. Recently, there was a discussion back in the United States that there will be the COVID vaccine 2.0, that can be known as the bivalent vaccine. It comes with two types of protection, which is the conventional one that is already present. However, they will add something which is specific to Omicron. Till such time the new vaccines are accessible, it is suggested to opt-in for the current boosters and the vaccines, as that can provide the desired protection. 

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