WHO expert: Sinopharm and CoronaVac vaccines still protect against omicron

The Incident Manager of the World Health Organization (who), Abdi Mahamud, declared, during a press conference in Geneva (Switzerland), that Sinopharm and Sinovac (CoronaVac) vaccines They continue to maintain their protection against a serious illness, hospitalization or death related to the omicron variant (B.1.1.529) of the coronavirus already spread in 128 countries before last Christmas.

Following a preliminary investigation by the University of Hong Kong (HKUMed) and the Faculty of Medicine of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU Medicine), according to Reuters, which indicates a decrease in the effectiveness of the inoculations with Sinovac versus omicron, the most widespread lineage in history, Mahamud argues that such anti-COVID-19 injections however, it can still be used in vaccination campaigns.

The expert from the highest health entity in the world stressed that when the neutralizing antibodies go down, the next layer of defenses is made up of the T lymphocytes of the immune system, a type of white blood cell whose action eliminates the cells infected with SARS-CoV- 2 or other pathogens.

“If the T-cell responses versus SARS-CoV-2 are maintained, they are likely to help limit the severity of disease in infections caused by omicron (…) This antibody escape is reported to be facilitated by defining omicron mutations.”Was mentioned in a study published in the journal Viruses by researchers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the University of Melbourne.

For the epidemiologist, the decision to develop a specific vaccine against the variant detected for the first time in South Africa should not rest with biotechnology companies, but with global health coordination. In addition, he expressed, it is too early to make such a decision because there is a lack of cross data between scientific inquiries.

According to Dr. Abdi Mahamud, omicron has so far been shown to invade the upper respiratory tract to a greater extent, as opposed to other versions of the coronavirus causing severe pneumonia; however, this information is not conclusive.

Even more important is the fact of reaching 70% vaccination worldwide rather than administering a third booster dose, he stated bluntly.

“The challenge has not been the vaccine itself, but the vaccination of the most vulnerable populations” He later stated.

Without that protection afforded by inoculations, COVID-19 will harm people in crowded, unventilated environments, which is why the virus can mutate over and over again, as seen with delta and beta.