WASHINGTON D.C.: According to a new study, vaccines developed by Johnson & Johnson, China’s Sinopharm and Russia’s Sputnik V are not as effective against the new Omicron variant.
The study also found that the decrease was less pronounced for vaccinated people previously infected with the virus.
It also showed vaccines from Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech were still effective against Omicron, but the antibody response is considerably lower, compared with the original virus strain first detected in China.
Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Russia responded to the study, stating that the findings were not consistent with other studies performed in South America.
The Omicron variant is highly contagious and has more than 30 mutations of the spike proteins, which cover the outside of the virus and are the main targets of vaccines and various treatments.
The World Health Organization said the Omicron variant is spreading faster than any previously detected COVID-19 strain, but current evidence indicates it may cause less severe illness than the Delta variant.
This week, U.S. President Joe Biden warned of a “winter of severe illness and death” for the unvaccinated, amidst a surge in Delta infections and the spread of Omicron.
However, he stressed the “good news” was that “if you are vaccinated and you had your booster shot, you are protected from severe illness and death.”