A prestigious group of scientists from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Los Alamos National Laboratory recently published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine pointing out some major issues with current mass vaccination programs that target COVID-19.
From July to November 2022, the Omicron BA.5 variant was widely circulated and there were major neutralization escapes observed in comparison with older variants. This strain gave birth to other sublineages such as BA.4.6 plus mutations from both BA.5 (BF.7 and BQ1), but also recombinant XBB 1 derived from the earlier lineage of BA 2 that included 75,2 models where it initially began its emergence process all those months back by mid-year 2022.
All of the variants share a common feature: they contain the R346T mutation in their spike protein. The BQ.1.1 and XBB.1 have swiftly replaced BA5, yet it remains unknown whether these recent mutations can avoid antibodies that target both the original Wuhan variant’s and BA5’s spike proteins induced by vaccines or not.
Enter the Study
In 2021, a crew of scientists launched an analysis to measure the neutralizing antibodies tied to COVID-19 vaccines. This study revolved around 16 participants who have been administered and augmented with BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNtech), a solitary mRNA vaccine. The team’s research was documented via tables A) Spike Protein Sequence Mutations for Subvariants along with Tables B-D which included:
- Neutralizing antibody titers before and after receipt of the monovalent mRNA booster 2021
- Neutralizing antibody titers before and after receipt of the monovalent mRNA booster 2022
- Neutralizing antibody titers before and after receipt of the bivalent mRNA booster 2022
In summary, findings indicate that…
Upon carrying out the first investigation, researchers studied 16 people’s neutralizing antibody titers before and after receiving a monovalent mRNA booster in 2021. Astonishingly, they discovered that:
Comparatively, the median neutralizing antibody titers to BQ.1.1 and XBB.1 were threefold and eightfold lower than BA5 respectively.
The second and third studies focused on measuring neutralizing antibody levels before and after the single-dose mRNA booster as well as the two-dose vaccine in 2022. In each study, 15 or 18 participants were evaluated; most of whom had already been given three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Omicron had a wide reach in the population, with one out of every three people testing positive for infection. This is most likely due to an influx of circulating viruses during 2022.
In the monovalent booster group, titers of neutralizing antibodies to BQ.1.1 and XBB.1 were seven-fold and seventeen-fold lower than those produced against BA.5 strain; in the bivalent booster cohort, antibody titers against these two variants were seven times and twenty one times less powerful than that generated by BA.5 strain respectively.