Is the best strategy against omicron to boost with the original vaccine?
Variant mutations of the coronavirus suggest it may be able to dodge some of the immunity provided by vaccination or natural infection. Stephane De Sakutin / AFP – Getty Images
Some vaccine experts worry that numerous booster doses of existing vaccines could make future vaccines, if needed, less effective. Others say, don’t wait.
Federal health officials are urging all vaccinated adults to get their Covid booster shot amid growing alarm over the omicron variant, a heavily mutated coronavirus strain that’s already been detected in a handful of states across the U.S.
But some vaccine experts worry that numerous booster doses of existing vaccines could make future vaccines, if needed, less effective.
The variant’s mutations suggest it may be able to dodge some of the immunity provided by vaccination or natural infection.
While federal health officials and drugmakers await highly anticipated lab results to see how much of a threat omicron poses to vaccines, for now, the existing boosters are the best defense against the new strain and the highly transmissible delta variant,
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, epidemiologists and immunologists say.
But what is the best strategy for boosters going forward? And if boosters are needed for years to come, as Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has suggested, will they need to be modified?
Studies show an extra dose of the current Covid vaccines “increase levels of neutralizing antibodies against all the variants,” Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, said Friday at the White House Covid-19 Response Team briefing.
“There’s every reason to believe that if you get vaccinated and boosted that you would have at least some degree of cross-protection, very likely against severe disease, even against the omicron variant.”
By Berkeley Lovelace Jr./ www.nbcnews.com