Catching omicron offers little protection from later reinfection with omicron, latest research from Imperial College shows

Hip

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A new study shows that catching omicron provides very little natural immune protection against later re-infection with omicron.

Article: Omicron infection is a poor booster of COVID-19 immunity:
A common assumption of the COVID-19 pandemic has been that through being infected with the virus you gain a natural immune boost, leaving you better able to recognise the variant you’ve encountered and fend off infection in the future.

However, the latest analysis finds that Omicron provides a poor natural boost of COVID-19 immunity against re-infection with Omicron itself even in people who are triple-vaccinated.

In those who were triple vaccinated and had no prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, Omicron infection provided an immune boost against previous variants (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and the original ancestral strain), but less so against Omicron itself.

Their findings may help to explain why ‘breakthrough’ and repeat infections have been a common feature of the Omicron wave of the pandemic. However, they stress that vaccination continues to provide protection against severe disease and death.

Professor Danny Altmann, from Imperial’s Department of Immunology and Inflammation, said: “We have found that Omicron is far from a benign natural booster of vaccine immunity, as we might have thought, but it is an especially stealthy immune evader.

"Not only can it break through vaccine defences, it looks to leave very few of the hallmarks we’d expect on the immune system – it’s more stealthy than previous variants and flies under the radar, so the immune system is unable to remember it.”
 

BrightCandle

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Wave 3 of Omicron is starting in the UK with the first in January. Some people caught BA1 twice. Alongside this 100k-200k long haulers since January as well, 600k of the current 2 million long haulers are Omicon. That is an astonishing amount of disability and not something that can be sustained and yet I don't see how it would stop.
 

Hip

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That is an astonishing amount of disability and not something that can be sustained and yet I don't see how it would stop.
Yes, assuming each time you catch COVID there is around a 1 in 100 risk of developing the ME/CFS form of long COVID (which previous data suggests), then if the omicron variant keeps reinfecting people, that's going to be a lot of disability!