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HomeWorld NewsVaccines are still useful against COVID-19 Omicron variant: Dr. Soumya Swaminathan

Vaccines are still useful against COVID-19 Omicron variant: Dr. Soumya Swaminathan

Vaccines are still useful against COVID-19 Omicron variant: Dr. Soumya Swaminathan. 

WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan on Wednesday (December 29, 2021) in announcing how the Omicron variant is affecting all people who have been vaccinated.

She said the vaccines are continuing to be effective. However, the number of cases is increasing exponentially in several countries. 

However, the severity of the disease has not risen to an unimaginable level.

“As anticipated, T cells immunity has improved against #Omicron. This can protect us from severe illness. Make sure you are vaccinated if you are not already,” said Swaminathan in an update on Twitter on Wednesday.

It is worth noting that either vaccinations or prior infections with COVID-19 can trigger the human T cell responses.

Swaminathan also discussed the main reasons about the subject in a live briefing on the issue by WHO the previous Wednesday. 

She stated that the effectiveness of vaccines differs slightly between different vaccines. But the vast majority of vaccines on these WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines are highly effective in terms of protection against severe disease and death, at least until the Delta variant is available.

WHO Chief Scientist has also said that biological elements also determine the effectiveness of vaccination.

 “It is age, underlying diseases, and we have proved that with the various variations that the older you are, the more co-morbidities and underlying diseases are more prone to contract the disease,” she added.

About the third element that determines the efficacy of the vaccine, Swaminathan stated, “It is the time after vaccination and the loss of immunity. We recognize that there is a certain amount of value. However, there is a decrease in infection against infectious diseases, and this is the reason we’re seeing a lot of new infections, particularly that involve Omicron because Omicron can overcome the pre-existing immunity, and it requires higher levels of antibodies as well as protection.”

Swaminathan also said that evidence regarding Omicron is only beginning to come out, and it could be too early to make a definitive decision.

However, all lab studies suggest the reduction of neutralization capacity, and it’s also known clinically that those who have been vaccinated and those who have prior infections continue to suffer breakout infections caused by Omicron.

 

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