Omicron mutation: early results from specialty vaccines are disappointing

Booster doses of vaccines that are specifically designed for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus provide only modest benefits over existing Covid-19 vaccines.

According to the journal Nature, a booster dose, especially against Omicron, does not provide a significant benefit beyond the protection of a third dose of existing vaccines.

One study examined the immune responses of eight monkeys who received two doses of the existing Moderna vaccine and a third dose of either the same existing vaccine or a vaccine designed specifically for Omicron. Experimental animals showed a broad immune response to all variants of the coronavirus, including Omicron.

But one of the researchers, Robert Center, an immunologist at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said: “We can still cover all known variants with a booster dose of the current vaccines at our disposal.”

Another study in mice showed that administering a booster vaccine specifically against Omicron, after two doses of mRNA, provided no additional benefit over a third dose of an existing vaccine. Two other rodent studies also produced similar results.

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