WDH: Two Moderna vaccine doses only protect against Omikron to a limited extent

(Repeat: the headline and lead sentence have been redrafted.)

BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – Two vaccinations with the product of the US manufacturer Moderna protect against Omikron less well than against certain earlier variants. This is shown by a laboratory study by US researchers – including employees of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Moderna – which was published as a preprint, i.e. not in a peer-reviewed journal.

According to this, four weeks after the second dose vaccinated people had significantly fewer antibodies against the Omikron variant than against certain earlier variants in their blood. In order to examine the effect of a vaccine against a certain variant of Sars-CoV-2, researchers usually do so-called neutralization tests. It is checked how many antibodies a vaccinated person has in the blood that can reach the virus variant and thus switch it off. The actual protection of vaccinated persons cannot be determined with this, however, clinical studies with thousands of test persons or evaluations of the ongoing infection process are required.

The number of antibodies directed against Omikron increased significantly about two weeks after a booster vaccination with Moderna. According to the study, a booster dose could significantly reduce the risk of the disease. However, the team concludes that it is only a matter of laboratory tests. In addition, there was a lack of data on how long the reaction of the neutralizing antibodies lasted after the booster vaccination.

The vaccine manufacturers Biontech (BioNTech (ADRs)) and Pfizer announced last week that three doses of their product were necessary for adequate protection against the Omikron variant. According to initial laboratory data, two doses did not provide sufficient protection against infection with this recently discovered variant. However, the companies assumed that protection against serious illness would continue to exist./waw/DP/men

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