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Getting Omicron After Being Vaccinated May Prevent Infections From Other Strains

A study conducted in South Africa by scientists discovered that getting infected by the Omicron variant after getting vaccinated may offer protection against other strains. The study led by Dr. Penny Moore at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases studied the neutralising characteristics of Omicron when combined with certain vaccines.

They found that an Omicron infection after receiving Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine showed high antibody counts against other variants like Beta and Delta. Those without a vaccine, humoral immune responses after getting infected by Omicron were much lower against other variants, even though it was effective against its own spikes.

"This may result in risk of reinfection in this unvaccinated group with other variants that continued to circulate in South Africa at the time of this study, albeit at low levels, including Beta and Delta," they wrote. Another one conducted in the U.S. by a team from Ohio State University, led by Dr. Shan-Lu Liu, found that even after getting two doses of an mRNA vaccine, it would still not be enough to protect against Omicron.

The team studied the neutralising antibody response in 48 healthcare workers who had been vaccinated with either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, and compared them against the Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants. It showed that while all four variants had lower antibody counts between one to six months after the second dose, it was the Omicron variant that still had the strongest resistance.

While the Omicron variant seems to be the most contagious now, people are encouraged to quickly get booster shots to protect themselves against the strain.


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