Omicron Today: January 6th
The holidays are over, and our gift is positive news on the science front
Omicron's feeble attack on the lungs could make it less dangerous. Kozlov M. Nature. 2022 Jan 5. doi: 10.1038/d41586-022-00007-8. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34987210.
“Early indications from South Africa and the United Kingdom signal that the fast-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is less dangerous than its predecessor Delta. Now, a series of laboratory studies offers a tantalizing explanation for the difference: Omicron does not infect cells deep in the lung as readily as it does those in the upper airways.”
Importance: I discussed this back on December 15th in my Substack article:
“Has Omicron shifted receptor binding specificity away from deep lung tissue? Could this be why it appears that Omicron is less severe than other variants?”
Now this has now been confirmed in an animal model.
The importance of this research is also that it answers the question of whether those who have neither been infected of vaccinated will have a less severe course of disease. That answer is good news. Omicron is more mild for everyone, significantly more mild.
The CDC has now approved boosters for ages 12-17 years of age. Of course we all know that this age cohort, particularly young men, has significant adverse events. So, we all have to ask why is this happening? Omicron is mild, there is no need for a vaccine or a booster, that does not stop transmission. In fact, there is even evidence that the vaccinated are catching Omicron more easily!
The truth is most of us have had some variant of COVID-19. But even if we haven’t, we will experience Omicron as a cold. But the vaccine has many adverse events - here are just a some of the peer reviewed literature on these side effects and death.
So, please parents - do your homework - make your decisions based on facts.
Omicron Variant (B.1.1.529): Infectivity, Vaccine Breakthrough, and Antibody Resistance. J Chem Inf Model. 2022 Jan 6. doi: 10.1021/acs.jcim.1c01451. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34989238.
“…Here, we present a comprehensive quantitative analysis of Omicron's infectivity, vaccine breakthrough, and antibody resistance. An artificial intelligence (AI) model, which has been trained with tens of thousands of experimental data and extensively validated by experimental results on SARS-CoV-2, reveals that Omicron may be over 10 times more contagious than the original virus or about 2.8 times as infectious as the Delta variant. On the basis of 185 three-dimensional (3D) structures of antibody-RBD complexes, we unveil that Omicron may have an 88% likelihood to escape current vaccines.
…However, its impacts on GlaxoSmithKline's sotrovimab appear to be mild.”
Based on modeling, the Omicron may have an 88% likelihood to escape current vaccines.
Do I need to write more?
Age-associated SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infection and changes in immune response in mouse model. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2022 Jan 6:1-36. doi: 10.1080/22221751.2022.2026741. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34989330.
Older individuals are at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe outcome but the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. In addition, how age modulates SARS-CoV-2 re-infection and vaccine breakthrough infections remains largely unexplored. Here, we investigated age-associated SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, immune responses, and the occurrence of re-infection and vaccine breakthrough infection utilizing a wild type C57BL/6N mouse model.
The study demonstrates that interferon and adaptive antibody response upon SARS-CoV-2 challenge are significantly impaired in aged mice in comparison to young mice, which results in more effective virus replication and severe disease manifestations in the respiratory tract.
Aged mice also showed increased susceptibility to re-infection due to insufficient immune protection acquired during primary infection.
“In mice, a two-dose COVID-19 mRNA vaccination conferred limited adaptive immune response among the aged mice which rendered them susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
The significant adverse event profile of the genetic vaccines, combined with the more mild disease profile of Omicron has to raise the possibility that the boosters may not be good “medicine,” even for the elderly.
We will have more variants- natural immunity is robust and more broadly protective. Omicron is going to rip through the US population.
Maybe it is time to entirely re-evaluate our entire SARS-CoV-2 vaccination program?