The US research team stated that a special booster against the Omicron variant is not currently needed. The conclusion was based on the results of a study on monkeys who had been given a booster vaccine injection. The study compared monkeys who had been given a special booster injection of Omicron and those who were only given the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.
The researchers tested various aspects of the animals’ immune response and exposed them to the virus. The result is that the Corona vaccine booster has a similar effect, namely increasing antibody responses to all variants of Covid-19, including Omicron. The results of this study were posted on bioRxiv prior to peer review.
Moderna and BioNTech-Pfizer have begun testing the special Omicron booster by conducting clinical trials in humans. “This is very, very good news,” said Daniel Douek, a vaccine researcher at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who co-led the research.
“That means we don’t have to radically redesign the vaccine to make it an Omicron vaccine.”
Douek said he believes the reason is because the original and Omicron-specific vaccines are cross-reactive, meaning they can recognize many different variants.
The results are similar to studies testing a Moderna booster targeting Beta variants, said Dr John Moore, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College. He was not involved in this research. “Let’s see what human data shows,” said Moore. “Monkey data is generally pretty predictive, but you’re going to need human data.”