Johannesburg (dpa) – The novel coronavirus variant, Omicron, has caused an increase in the number of infections in South Africa. Health Minister Joe Vahla announced that the number of new infections in the national center of infection – the Johannesburg region and Greater Pretoria (Gauten province) – rose by 400 per cent. Tests showed that the Omikron variant was behind about 70 percent of cases.
However, according to scientist Glenda Gray and colleague Michelle Groome of the NICD’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases, initial observations of fairly mild disease courses and short hospital stays appear to have been confirmed.
There is no reason not to believe in vaccination prevention
Research by South African professor Alex Segal also showed that Omikron may reduce protection from vaccination, but depending on the number of antibodies developed, its efficacy is up to 70 percent. “We see no reason to believe that vaccination does not prevent serious Omicron disease,” he said.
Segal and his team from the African Health Research Institute (AHRI) are the first scientists in the world to artificially breed the virus. The focus has been on research into protection by antibodies. “The virus uses the same receptors as other types,” he said. Although she changed her DNA, she hardly changed her behavior.
Even a booster doesn’t reduce the risk to zero
However, even booster vaccinations do not provide complete protection against infection. Despite the booster vaccination, seven Germans in South Africa were infected with Omicron. Wolfgang Preiser, a member of the research consortium that discovered Omicron, told Tagesspiegel: “There are many paranormal infections. What we didn’t know was that even a booster vaccination with Biontech/Pfizer doesn’t prevent this.”
“Of course you should not misunderstand that vaccination does not help. On the contrary: it only shows that even the best possible vaccination is of course not sufficient to prevent infection,” he cautioned. One must continue to adhere to precautionary measures.
Booster prevent severe cycles
The study by Brisher and colleagues has not yet been published in a specialized journal. None of the seven Germans, aged 25 to 39, had a severe course of infection. “Of course now you can say ‘they are guys anyway’,” said Presser of Stellenbosch University in South Africa. “But you can assume that at least a difficult path will be prevented.”
The research team also comes to the following conclusion: Although the findings confirm the need for vaccine modification, protection against critical diseases is likely to remain the same after booster vaccination. Biontech and Pfizer are working on a vaccine adapted to Omikron. However, it is still not clear whether there is actually a need.
In the new study, according to the researchers, all seven people received at least two of the three vaccinations with the mRNA vaccine. Six of them received a booster vaccine from Biontech, and one from Moderna. The booster vaccinations were done at least a month in advance. Four of them were training in South African hospitals, and the other three were on vacation.
Biontech founder recommends Booster after three months
Cape State is in a fourth wave of infections led by the omicron variant and has just allowed booster vaccinations. According to the African Union, eleven countries on the continent bordering Europe have detected Omicron infections.
Biontech founder Ugur Sahin has spoken out in favor of a previous third vaccination in light of the prevalence of the Omikron variant. “With regard to Omikron, the two doses are not yet fully immunized with adequate protection. If Omikron continues, as it seems, to be widespread, it makes sense to introduce a booster dose after three months,” said Shahin Spiegel. (Thursday). This has already been done in Great Britain.
According to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), booster vaccinations can be given after three months. Despite current recommendations to give the booster after six months, “currently available data suggest a safe and effective booster dose as early as three months after completion of the initial series,” EMA Vaccination Strategy Director Marco Cavalieri said Thursday.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211208-99-306782 / 5
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