A NEW strain of coronavirus, called omicron, is of particular concern to experts because it has a large number of mutations and fears it could be resistant to the vaccine.
This is certainly the information that worries people who have been vaccinated with two or three doses the most.
According to experts, all vaccines currently available in the United Kingdom work by “training” the immune system against the spiky protein of the coronavirus.
How does it actually work? The vaccine uses an already infected cell and binds it to the ACE2 receptor.
The new strain has more than 50 mutations and 30 on the protein spike that targets most vaccines, and the key is which virus uses it to enter the cells of the human body.
Although the new strain of coronavirus has more mutations, it is believed that antibodies and T cells created by the body in response to a previous infection will be able to respond to a new “threat”.
– At first glance, it seems that the spiked protein of the new strain is frightening and we thought that it would literally destroy all antibodies. However, the data we receive from South Africa offer hope that vaccines still give an answer to the virus that attacks them, because mostly all hospitalized people are not vaccinated – said Danny Altman, a professor of immunology in London.
He then adds that T cells that can recognize and attack infected cells instruct B cells to make antibodies.
“We believe that T cells can see the differences between new and old variants of the corona virus, and act on many more mutations than was initially thought,” she said.
Experts have found that people who are revaccinated can become infected with the delta strain of the coronavirus, but that the chances of that are three times less than in the unvaccinated and that the chances of survival in the vaccinated are nine times higher.
– I think that the outcome of the omicron variant is numbness, not complete loss of immunity – says immunologist Paul Morgan, adding that antibodies created against other variants can be effective:
– Although antibodies are somewhat good protection, vaccination is still number one. That’s why a third vaccine is always a good idea. The stronger the immunity the better for the body.
David Matthews, a professor of virology, points out that revaccinated people who have been infected with the delta strain of the coronavirus have the best protection against the new variant.
“Your body and immunity are so strong that there is a great possibility that no new variant of the corona virus can do anything to you,” said David.
As he says, the biggest concern is the people who remain unvaccinated.
– If some experts are right when they say that the new variant will spread faster than the delta, I am afraid that the virus will find the unvaccinated and place them in hospitals, and that is what will start the locking of one country – he said.
Peter English, a retired consultant for the control of infectious diseases, says that all is not lost and that there are some reasons for optimism.
– People who have received two or three doses will certainly be protected. But we still don’t have enough information to talk about some things widely. My optimism is the medicine against the coronavirus, ie molnupiravir, to which omicron should react. This medicine is most effective when there are no definite indications that the person is ill, then it should offer a high level of protection – said Peter and added that he believes in both dexamethasone and its effectiveness.
– What gives me the most hope are, of course, vaccines that can be modified and made to suit the omicron variant. There is a high probability that the vaccine with antigens adapted to the new strain will arrive relatively quickly, ie in a few months. Omicron is just another bump in the road that leads us to the end of this pandemic story, but that doesn’t mean that the bump is small, but that we all have to work together and get around it. The more vaccinated, the greater the possibility of that – he concluded.
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