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Vaccinations appear less resistant to new omikron variants

April 14, 2022

Current corona vaccines may work less well against the new omikron variants discovered in South Africa. This is what virologist Marion Koopmans says at Sven Op 1. If this is indeed scientifically established, it means that the Netherlands will have to adjust its booster strategy.

This concerns the BA.4 and BA.5 variants. The more serious infectivity has yet to be confirmed with laboratory research and epidemiological study, explains Koopmans, part of the World Health Organization (WHO). But right now it can be seen that the mutations are in places "where we know the antibodies are binding," she explains. "So the prediction is that that could be the case."

If this is true and the viruses also reach the Netherlands - and Koopmans considers this probability to be high - the impact will depend to a "significant extent" on the immunity of the population. This is partly due to the vaccinations, and also because many people have now been infected. "The question becomes: how much does that escape of immunity matter, given the background immunity in the Netherlands?"

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