Catching omicron ‘does not protect you against future infection’

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Catching omicron does not protect people from a future infection from the variant, Imperial College has found, as scientists said it explained why cases remain stubbornly high.

Throughout the pandemic, studies have shown that a previous infection provides immunity against catching Covid again, as well as often protecting against other variants.

But new research has found that there is virtually no extra immunity boost from getting omicron, leaving people at risk of being reinfected from the strain.

The study may help explain why cases are continuing to rise, even though huge numbers of people have now been infected with Covid.

In the latest study, the team sought to find out why so many people have been reinfected with omicron, often quite soon after their initial bout.

The team analysed blood samples from UK healthcare workers who received three doses of mRNA vaccine, and who had different infection histories, to investigate antibody, T and B cell immunity.

They found that in people who were triple vaccinated and had no prior infection, an omicron infection provided an immune boost against previous variants such as alpha, beta, gamma, delta and the original ancestral strain, but virtually nothing against Omicron itself.

People infected during the first wave of the pandemic and then again with omicron also lacked any immune boosting, an effect the researchers have termed “hybrid immune damping”.

Read more via The Telegraph

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