BREAKING NEWS
Source: Omicron-Vaccine   Dec 14, 2021  5 months ago
BREAKING! Hong Study Shows That Omicron Can Significantly Reduce Neutralization Ability Of Pfizer (BNT162b2) Vaccine By 32 Folds Or More!
BREAKING! Hong Study Shows That Omicron Can Significantly Reduce Neutralization Ability Of Pfizer (BNT162b2) Vaccine By 32 Folds Or More!
Source: Omicron-Vaccine   Dec 14, 2021  5 months ago
A new study jointly conducted by the Li Ka Shing (LKS) Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (HKUMed) and the Faculty of Medicine and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU Medicine) has revealed that the Omicron or B.1.1.529  SARS-CoV-2 variant, can significantly reduce the virus neutralization ability of Pfizer BioNTech (BNT162b2) vaccine by 32 folds or more. https://sph.hku.hk/en/News-And-Events/Press-Releases/2021/HKUMed-CU-Medicine-joint-study-finds-COVID-19-variant

 
Another similar test of another vaccine used in Hong Kong ie CoronaVac, is being conducted and the results will soon be available.
 
The study team however insist that despite the study findings, these vaccines are still likely to be effective in protecting against death and severe disease.
 
The study team hence renewed calls on high-risk groups, such as the elderly and those with immunocompromised conditions or other chronic diseases to get booster doses as soon as possible. (We are not sure as there is still no real tangible published proof that booster shots would reduce disease severity and risk of mortality from the Omicron variant!)
 
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose major threats to global public health. The emergence of the Omicron virus variant is of great concern because it has more than 35 mutations just on its spike protein, which suggests that the newly emerged variant has capacity to escape immunity from past infection or from vaccines. But direct data on escape from vaccine immunity is still awaited.
 
The testing the blood of individuals vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines for ability to kill virus in the test tube (called the virus neutralization test) is one way to establish how well these vaccines protect against symptomatic infection.
 
A past study carried out by Professor Dr David Hui Shu-cheong, Stanley Ho Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Chairman of Department Medicine and Therapeutics, CU Medicine have followed up people vaccinated with the two vaccines used in Hong Kong, Pfizer BioNTech (BNT162b2) and CoronaVac.

The findings of these studies have been published recently in the peer reviewed journal Respirology. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/resp.14191
 
Dr Malik Peiris, the Tam Wah-Ching Professor in Medical Science and Professor of Virology at the School of Public Health, HKUMed and Managing Director, Centre for Infection and Immunity (C2i), Hong Kong Science and Technology Park and his team isolated the Omicron variant and carried out the virus neutralization tests to measure virus killing antibody in the serum to the Omicron variant compared with the original SARS-CoV-2 virus.
 
For the initial experiments on Omicron variant, the blood of 10 people vaccinated with two doses of the Pfizer BioNTech (BNT162b2) vaccine was tested against the original SARS-CoV-2 virus from 2020 and the Omicron variant that the School of Public Health, HKUMed isolated from the first Hong Kong case.
 
Subsequently the blood tested was again collected one month after the second dose of the vaccine, the time when the highest level of virus-killing antibodies in the blood was expected.
 
Professor Peiris said, "We can see that most individuals had high levels of virus killing (neutralization) activity against the original SARS-CoV-2 but this ability was markedly reduced by 32 folds or more against the Omicron variant."
 
Professor Peiris added that these Omicron-Vaccine study findings suggest that vaccine-protection against breakthrough infection with Omicron will be much reduced.
 
The study findings from CoronaVac vaccinated individuals will also soon be available but because previous studies suggested that virus-killing antibody levels in CoronaVac vaccines were lower than with the BioNTech vaccines, it is very likely that the loss of activity against CoronaVac will also be very large.
 
Dr Hui has pointed out that antibodies are one (though important) arm of the immune response. The second arm of the immune response is cell mediated immunity and this is less likely to be affected by the Omicron variant.
 
He said, "We may expect that vaccines may still have protective effect against severe disease and death. It is therefore important that all those who are eligible for vaccination get fully vaccinated.”
The study team will be testing the blood of those who have received a booster-dose of vaccines in the coming week and it is expected that the booster dose will provide increased levels of protection.
 
Professor Peiris added, "It will be important for those who are at higher risk, including older age and those with immunocompromised conditions or other chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure to take booster doses of vaccine as soon as possible."
 
For the latest on Vaccine Protection And Omicron, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.
 
Read Also: https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-china-s-study-reveals-that-vaccine-protection-from-third-dose-might-also-be-compromised-by-omicron-variant
 
 

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