The coronavirus has overtaken us again. With a series of sub-variants of Omicron escaping the vaccines, it looks like it will be another sniffy winter.
A new Chinese study that de Volkskrant writes about has caused quite a stir in the scientific world in recent days. The most important finding: previous infections and adapted vaccines only provide reasonable protection against hospitalization, but not against further disease.
It is called antigenic original sin if our immune system can defend itself well against one coronavirus, but less well against other variants. Doctor-microbiologist Bert Mulder (Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital) explains in de Volkskrant: “The immune system sees a new coronavirus, and thinks: hey, I know one – and they will make the same antiquated antibodies again as before. more. Vaccines cover the circulating variant less and less well.”
This means that every winter many people come home sick with corona. And because the virus is so contagious, it can lead to massive absenteeism, making it difficult to maintain society.
“It could even be worse,” study leader Xiaoliang Xie of Beijing University told the newspaper. “Infection with variants are expected to lead to more severe disease, due to a limited number of neutralizing antibodies.”
Virologist Marion Koopmans, nonetheless, made some comments about the research. For example, China uses a different, less effective vaccine and nowhere does it say how long ago the test subjects were vaccinated.