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Prior infection may not protect against Omicron COVID variant: S. Africa microbiologist

Dec. 02, 2021 5:25 PM ETNovavax, Inc. (NVAX), JNJ, PFE, MRNABNTXBy: Jonathan Block, SA News Editor244 Comments

Microscopic view of covid-19 omicron variant or B.1.1.529, variant of concern.

undefined undefined/iStock via Getty Images

  • While the Delta variant of COVID-19 provided a layer of protection against the risk of reinfection, that doesn't appear to be the case with the Omicron variant, according to a leading South African microbiologist.

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Comments (244)

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I could be wrong but I think I read somewhere that the virus has mutated 30 times. Someone on here wrote 7. So let’s go with 7 in less than 24 months. So let’s go with 7 which means a new mutation every 3.5 months. It then takes 6 weeks to developer a vaccine for it and another 6 months to ramp up production. Literally we will never get ahead of this. Just like we can never get ahead of the flu or the common cold. Each variant is less deadly. Big pharma is making serious money, and I would love to know how much stock Fauci, members of Congress and Biden family own for stock. The same media scum that helped get a very old man who can’t take a question without it being pre submitted, a man who clearly has some cognitive issues with an affinity for sniffing little kids and making inappropriate comments is supposed to be believed? Does anyone have a flipping brain and look at the deaths and blood clots that have ruined Lives and the careers of 3 NBA Players? Now it doesn’t work but Dementia Joe whispers go get your Covid shot and sheep line up by the bus load? Remember big pharma doesn’t give a F about a cure they want to keep you hooked. A cure for anything is not profitable, keeping you on a med for life is where they make bank. Original Covid 19 was listed as Reason for death for drug overdoses and a guy who got killed in a motorcycle crash in Florida. Even when you include all these deaths like the old lady who fell down a flight of stairs, also listed as a Covid death you have a 98.85% survival rate, the 1.15% who die have underlying conditions or are older than dirt. Are we really shocked when a 95 year old person in a nursing home who doesn’t know their own name dies and is listed as a Covid death? I’m not trying to be insensitive but I used to be an EMT and death happens everyday. The BS began when hospitals could code a cancer death as Covid 19 because some poor bastard with stage 4 also got Covid. So I ask you was it the being 85 with Stage 4 prostate cancer what killed some guy or the Covid ?
@mikey6pack Early on in the Covid pandemic in Grand County Co. there were 4 people that died of covid. One also had a gunshot wound that apparently was not important. Mark Twain may have said it best. "There are Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics"
@mikey6pack "I could be wrong..."???

I've discussed this multiple times. Viruses are mutation FACTORIES,, Unlike eukaryotic cells they have no way to repair errors during replication. Consequently, in ANY given infection, there are likely hundreds, thousands, maybe MILLIONS of mutations.

MOST mutations are simply LETHAL. The more toxic mutations usually fail to spread since they either kill the host or else immobilize them so they can't spread the virus further.

Most that survive are like Omicron, easy to transfer, highly contagious, but doing relatively little harm to the host. That is basically what evolution "wants" them to do in order to survive in a population.
UberB profile picture
@mikey6pack you are right on all levels and I will add the fact that hospitals are financially incentivized to report Covid infections treated and Covid as the cause of death since they receive direct reimbursement from the federal government for doing so. It's always "follow the money". Always.
05 Dec. 2021
Do read this doozy of a study.

The study explicitly states they could not verify the vaccination status in the data (vaxxed and unvaxxed), and could not verify prior infection status. With that in mind, the study suggests it was a handful of persons that got reinfected 2 or 3 times, and only 1 person reinfected 4 times.
khlim115 profile picture
What is the difference between love and COVID? Covid is forever.
UberB profile picture
@khlim115 agreed. And there are some things people won't do, even for love. Like use Covid to mail out millions of unsolicited ballots and then "harvest" them.
khlim115 profile picture
@UberB Wasn't aware that COVID could vote.
@UberB Interestingly, the only 3 cases of voter fraud in the last year involved the people Trump warned us about.
Hardly newsworthy. Prior infection "may" not protect against ANY new variant.
@CitronSource or are they referring to getting infected by the new virus more than once
@Lodge66 "...or are they..."???

Doesn't matter. NEITHER infection NOR vaccination "protect" against re-infection. BOTH merely "prime" the immune system so that it reacts more rapidly when re-infection occurs. The reponse to re-infection depends on a number of variables -- how efficient your immune system is, whether you have concomitant illness, etc.
Virtually one of the only stocks that has had a green uptick today.
For once!Keep it up Novavax.
Rambrian profile picture
"Prior infection may not protect against Omicron" is the headline. 1. "May" and "May not" are very similar. 2. "Protect" meaning what? Neither the vax nor prior infection protects you from getting it, but both protect you from being hospitalized.
It's an inconvenient truth that the only way a species defeats a disease is by getting the disease.
@User 10342501 Or by death. That's why Ebola is so much safer.
Death rate remains low among vaxxed.
@AwokenTheLBC death rate remains low among everyone.
Fangorn profile picture
@AwokenTheLBC Death rate remains low amongst everyone.
IFR is what, sub 1%.
Official case count woefully undercounts actual number of infections so a CFR 2.1% is over egging the actual mortality rate.
And of course it is aged skewed too so for most, anyone under 50-55 the Recovery Rate is 99.5%+
@AwokenTheLBC wasn’t 1st US case vaxxed? I thought so.
Of course they are less severe. What kind of virus keeps reinfecting you to cause the same disease over and over? No, it will be milder the second (and third) time...
banana.leaf profile picture
@Florian Steinberg Dengue. It is worse the 2nd time around.
Well, I've read about Dengue. Seems a special case. Children are getting respiratory infections dozens of time per year when they are young. This drops to a few infections per year for most and to zero infections per year for some adults. This is due to immunity against Adenoviruses, Coronaviruses, Rhinoviruses. The fifth human Coronavirus will not be fundamentally different to these established pathogens.
Funny how this coincides with flu season.
Coronavirus has been around for ever, it’s the god damn common cold. This isn’t a virus it’s a biological weapon. China modified the common cold to kill people. Fauci funded gain of function reasearch. Follow the money
@mikey6pack Keen to listen how come the other half of the hemisphere (south) is spared then?.
@mikey6pack What a bunch of rambling contradictory nonsense, which is it, the common cold or a biological weapon?
@beeblebrox14 LIkel a political one, look at the world
Contacting with virus for people not vaccinated, some are infected, some not. Health of a person's immune system plays an important role on whether a person would be infected or not. Our immune system would react to anything not normally produced by our bodies. Vaccines help training our immune system to better respond to bacteria and virus and mutated cells (cancer).

People having immune system weaker than others have higher chance (% wise) to be infected. Since many infected have weaker immune system, antibodies produced after recovery may not defend them well. For people with very healthy immune system but infected, they tend not to be infected again for a period, even Omicron as they were "vaccinated" by a COVID-19 virus.
Fangorn profile picture
@darturtle "Vaccines help training our immune system to better respond to bacteria and virus and mutated cells (cancer)"

Think you'll find the second doses of this covid vaccine actually destroy the bodies innate immune system if the blood work of an individual is anything to go by. Those B and T cells tanked.

Dr. Nathan Thompson - My Jaw DROPPED when I Tested Someone's Immune System After the 2nd Jab

Note the impact immediately post second dose. The first dose does indeed boost the immune response.

Also it seems that some "batches" are more toxic than others.

Some batches of Pfizer are worse than others.
Apparently, anything with batch numbers ending in 20A or 21A are in particular, really bad.

edaskew profile picture
@darturtle A lot of things are going on there, some of which we understand and probably many we don't know about. One important thing is ACE2 receptors in the upper airway. ACE2 is an enzyme that cranks out a hormone that dilates blood vessels, which lowers resistance to blood flow and increases cardiac output. This is something that is needed a lot more in big people (obese people, and even tall people) old people with stiff blood vessels, but not so much in thin, little and young people. Children may have zero ACE2 receptors in the upper airway. So if there are not many or there are no ACE2 receptors, then that person is resistant to infection. Delta found a way around that, partially. We don't know yet, but I would bet Omicron has made an advance here as well. Ultimately, I believe the virus will mutate so that it doesn't bind to the ACE2 receptor at all, but to another receptor like it's cousin, OC-43 does which causes particularly bad colds in children. The virus is recombinant, and if it were to infect someone also infected with OC-43, it could acquire RNA from OC-43.

There are other factors, such as a gene called OAS-1. OAS-1 in response to stimulation by alpha interferons stimulates the production of ribonuclease, an enzyme that breaks down double stranded RNA, the genetic material of the virus. If your ancestors had the allele for OAS-1 that is best for Covid, that would have made them more susceptible to the effects of another RNA virus that causes tick borne encephalitis, so in migrations out of Africa thousands of years ago, there was selection for a version of the gene that is somewhat defective, and many people have that version, so they are more susceptible to Covid, Hepatitis C, and other RNA viruses. Then there are genes for pulmonary inflammation, that lead to scarring of the lungs that fairly common and if you have that particular gene, you are more likely to die from or be severely disabled by Covid. So, it's genetic crap shoot. You don't know what collection of genes you have, how many ACE2 receptors you have, etc., and so it's best not to gamble when it comes to Covid.
The Value Portfolio profile picture
This is the first pandemic in history where the limiting factor in saving lives isn't medical technology but people's willingness to listen to science.
@The Value Portfolio exactly. The problem lies with science vs. political science and the political science is totally dominating the conversation. Still waiting for the doctors and politicians to recommend vitamin D3 at levels that are useful.
@kb9wnt or exercising and not being fat. 2 years should be plenty for dropping weight. To hard I guess….we want to beat a pandemic on our fat asses.
@The Value Portfolio if by “listen to science” you mean Fauci and Wollensky, count me out.
Too bad learn to live with it. Looks like it's endemic. We've disrupted the entire planet for nearly 2 years now.
@rambler1 Live through a famine or world war and get back to me.
@Virtue16 your point is....?
Except inactivated vaccines, all other types - mRNA, recombined protein(NVAX, CN:300122, etc.), and adenoviral vectors (AZN, etc.) use only spike protein of COVID-19 virus. With so many mutation on spike protein part, their effectiveness become questionable. We need to wait for a while to get data. As stock speculators, we need to weed out business oriented "data" but focus only on scientific data (question: can we still trust CDC?) or lose money.

For inactivated vaccines, they use whole virus but different vendors could come up very different products. Over inactivate or insufficient inactivate, both causes problem. There are 3 approved by WHO - BO:BIBCL, HK:1099, SVA (trade suspended). BO:BIBCL is mostly used in India while the other two have been used in many nations. SVA has shipped most vaccine among all makers and majority exported from China.

Now, look for data from nations heavily use these vaccines - Chile, Cambodia, Uruguay, UAE, Argentine, ... etc. have very high vaccination rate from HK:1099 and SVA(trade suspended).
Jacobin777 profile picture
Amazing how people here have been writing off this pandemic - until it happens to them or someone they know.
@Jacobin777 yes personal experience has a way of magnifying an issue. Had it myself. Seen several people die. But I think a lot of people still see the numbers as they are. Which is how you have to make public policy. On a personal level I don’t disparage anyone their right to stay at home and get as many vaccinations as they feel necessary.
Jacobin777 profile picture
@dynx Public policy should be based on good science as its really the one source which isn't politically biased.

There is MORE than enough peer-reviewed data/research that it shouldn't be difficult to come up with a policy on a global/national/local level.
@Jacobin777 on that, I completely agree.
Blah blah blah. Move on already
"Prior infection may not protect against Omicron COVID variant"
"the reinfections may be less severe than the original infection."

How does the above match the headline:

"Prior infection may not protect against Omicron COVID variant"?

It doesn't!

Leave the scare mongering to MSM please, They're quite capable.
Bodipb profile picture
@Fundamental Trader do they even read what they are writing?
El Scorcho profile picture
"may not protect" = you can still get infected

"reinfections may be less severe" = if you're infected it won't be as bad the second time

See the difference? Not very hard.
@El Scorcho so vaccination doesn’t protect against delta or Omi? Just asking. Cause the info seems to suggest vaccination is the most effective solution. But, according to your metric “may not protect” = can still get infected”. So the vaccines don’t offer protection cause you can still get infected? Maybe “less severe” IS protection. In which case you have to accept both.
coelacanth10 profile picture
This statement doesn't make sense, given that SarsCov1 completely protects against SarsCov2. It's only the spike protein and the furin cleavage site that is different between variants, right? One would expect the nucleocapsid, envelope, and DNA to be almost identical to the other variants, producing very good protection against reinfection.
@coelacanth10 …as I’m sure you’re aware, there are 32 mutations that occur in Omicron’s spike protein. Some mutations enhance the spike protein’s ability to bind to the human ACE2 receptor; some help the surface of the virus fuse with the cell and allow the virus to enter; others alter the appearance of the spike protein, making it harder to recognize and allowing the virus to evade antibodies.

Of the many mutations on Omicron’s spike, the loss of amino acids at positions 69 and 70 makes the virus twice as infectious as the original virus. These deleted amino acids, along with a third mutation at position 796 on the spike protein, are associated with Alpha’s ability to evade the body’s immune response. This suggests these same three mutations could help Omicron escape existing immunity either from vaccines or previous infections—and some preliminary evidence suggests that is happening.
@coelacanth10 If DNA is not identical then its the same difference as between an elephant and a giraffe. Covid will continue to mutate given the opportunities for infection segments of the population offer.
@coelacanth10 - Dang you got F'ed in the A son. Horn is the man.
COGenXer profile picture
I honestly don't think any information from S Africa is worth considering. Should just wait on developed nations to complete their research. A country where 20% of the population has AIDS is probably not useful when trying to determine the impact of a covid variant elsewhere.
r Negoro profile picture
@COGenXer yeah i think should wait for more research. Could be worse or not a huge cause of concern for those vaxxed. Right now no info at all.
@COGenXer - Are you saying the quality of this specific S.A. scientific community is compromised solely due to the high AIDS percentage of the general population?

That simply doesn't make sense, the two facts don't correlate; it's apples vs. oranges.
COGenXer profile picture
@L. No that doesn't make any sense. It's also not what I wrote.
Eldrige von Cumstein profile picture
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