Which vaccine shows real effectiveness against Omikron - a dead vaccine does not pass the test
Created: 01/12/2022Updated: 01/12/2022, 05:40 AM
From: Juliane Gutmann
The corona vaccination protects against severe Covid courses - but not every vaccine protects against all virus variants equally, as a new study shows.
© Matias Basualdo / Imago
The virus mutant Omikron is currently spreading worldwide.
A virus expert explains which vaccination best protects and why the booster is so important.
The booster dose * provides effective protection against Omicron infection for only a few months, according to a blog entry by the TU Bergakademie Freiberg. In general, the Omikron virus variant is more successful than all other corona variants before, because no mutant can spread as quickly as before.
But according to the current state of knowledge, the highly contagious version of the coronavirus does not lead to more severe disease courses
: "The risk of hospital admission to the emergency room with Omikron was only about a third as high as with Delta," says a publication by the UK Health Security Agency.
According to a cited study of UK health data, the report found "the risk of hospitalization for Omikron cases is lower after two and three doses of vaccine, with the risk of hospitalization after three doses 81 percent lower than for unvaccinated Omicron cases" .
But do all vaccines protect against an omicron infection equally well?
New evidence suggests that this is not the case.
Booster vaccination is the best protection against Omikron so far
So far, the corona vaccine preparations from the manufacturers Biontech / Pfizer, Moderna, Astrazeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax have been approved in Germany. The vaccines from Moderna and Biontech are mRNA vaccines, those from Astrazeneca and Johnson & Johnson are vector vaccines, and Nuvaxovid from manufacturer Novavax is a protein vaccine.
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the preparations can be equated with dead vaccines
. The reason for this, according to the RKI: They do not contain any viruses that can replicate.
The most acute question at the moment is which of the approved vaccines offer the best protection against Omikron. Dr. Rolf Hömke, research spokesman for the Association of Researching Drugs Manufacturers (vfa), informs in a podcast episode of the
“The first vaccination from two injections is not enough, but if a booster vaccination is added, there are so many antibodies that also grab the omicron that you have good protection again ”. This statement is consistent with the statement made by many medical professionals and virologists. Among other things, Prof. Franz-Xaver Reichl, as the representative for the biological safety of bacteria and viruses at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, appeals to the citizens: "
The optimal protection against Omikron arises only after the third vaccination.
(...) That is why it is now very, very important to boost as quickly as possible
However, every vaccine dose, even if it is the second, is better than none, according to the virus expert.
Because the vaccination can effectively prevent severe courses with hospital stays.
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Do dead vaccines work against Omikron?
The dead vaccines CoronaVac from China and VAL2001 from Europe are currently in the EU approval process. A dead vaccine from Sinopharm is already approved in China. The principle behind this type of vaccine: The body is confronted with killed coronaviruses or their components and thus stimulated an immune reaction.
However, the original type of Sars-CoV-2 or earlier variants of the virus were used for the production of the currently tested inactivated vaccines - not the Omikron variant
. As the science
further informs, a team of researchers from the University of Hong Kong has investigated how this affects the protective effect of inactivated vaccines against Omikron.
The result was sobering.
With the help of blood sera from vaccinated people, it was determined how well the dead vaccine CoronaVac and the mRNA vaccine from Biontech protect against Omikron.
The total of 50 study participants were fully vaccinated.
In the test tube it was shown that the antibodies from the blood sera of the 25 Biontech vaccinees were more difficult to neutralize the omicron viruses than the wild-type virus.
The neutralization rate was reduced by up to 39 percent, reports
In no single case did the dead vaccine CoronaVac result in antibodies effective against Omikron being found in the blood serum.
Larger-scale studies must now follow in order to examine the omicron effectiveness of inactivated vaccines more closely.
Vaccines are adapted to Omikron
The manufacturers of the vaccines already approved in Germany are currently examining how good the protection against Omikron will be after vaccination with their preparations.
Biontech and Pfizer, Astrazeneca, Moderna and Novavax have already started
developing an Omikron-adapted version of their vaccines
, according to the Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies.
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