AstraZeneca vaccine significantly boosts antibodies against Omicron—study

(Edited Press Release)

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine (ChAdOx1-S [Recombinant]) significantly boosted levels of antibodies against the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant (B.1.1.529) following a third dose booster, according to data from a new laboratory study

The study analyzed blood samples taken from individuals infected with Covid-19; those who had been vaccinated with a two-dose schedule and a third dose booster; and those who had reported previous infection from other Covid-19 variants of concern. The study included samples from 41 individuals who had received three doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine.

The study was performed independently by investigators at the University of Oxford and the findings were posted online.

Professor Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford, UK, and one of the study investigators, said: “It is very encouraging to see that current vaccines have the potential to protect against Omicron following a third dose booster. These results support the use of third dose boosters as part of national vaccine strategies, especially to limit the spread of variants of concern, including Omicron.”

Sir Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca said: “AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine plays an important role in vaccination programs around the world and these data give us confidence that the vaccine should be given as a third dose booster. It is also important to look beyond antibodies to better understand how vaccines offer protection against Omicron. As we better understand Omicron, we believe we will find that T-cell response provides durable protection against severe disease and hospitalizations.”

Data from another laboratory study support AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine effect against Omicron, with individuals vaccinated with two doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine retaining neutralizing activity against Omicron, although a decrease was seen compared to the original strain. In other studies, AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine has been shown to generate a diverse and durable T-cell response to multiple variants resulting in a broader response than antibodies alone, which could contribute to protection against Covid-19.