A study conducted by researchers at the Ragon Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital (United States) has confirmed that a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna or Pfizer is needed to provide immunity against the omicron variant of SARS-CoV- two.
The research results have been published in the journal ‘Cell’ and indicate that traditional dosing regimens of vaccines COVID-19 do not produce antibodies capable of recognizing and neutralizing the variant omicron.
To show whether the vaccines protect against the new variant, the researchers constructed “a harmless version” of omicron known as “pseudovirus” that they used in the laboratory to evaluate the effectiveness of the three vaccines COVID-19 Available: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
The pseudovirus that was created mimicked the behavior of omicron, which has 34 mutations in its spike protein, a novelty that the researchers say is not found in the original strain of SARS-Cov-2 first detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Scientists believe these mutations may be partially responsible for the rapid spread of omicron around the world.
Subsequently, the scientists collected 239 blood samples from people who had been vaccinated with any of the three vaccines. The blood samples were used to measure the effectiveness with which each vaccine induces the production of protective immunity in the form of antibodies against the strains.
“We detected very little neutralization of the Omicron variant pseudovirus when we used samples taken from people who were recently vaccinated with two doses of the mRNA vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson. But the people who received three doses of the mRNA vaccine had a very significant neutralization against the Omicron variant “, has assured the main author of the study, Alejandro Balazs.
For the co-author of the research, García Beltrán, the booster dose improves the protection of a new dose serves to create antibodies that bind more to the spike protein, in addition to generating antibodies that target regions of said protein that are common to all forms of SARS-CoV-2.
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