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Sinopharm COVID-19 booster weaker against Omicron - study

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By Reuters
Sinopharm COVID-19 booster weaker against Omicron - study
Sinopharm COVID-19 booster weaker against Omicron - study   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  

<div> <p><span class="caps">BEIJING</span> – A <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 booster shot produced by China’s Sinopharm had “significantly lower” neutralising activity against the Omicron variant, Chinese researchers said in a paper, although they added the vaccine’s efficacy against Omicron remained unclear.</p> <p>The study – conducted by researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and a Shanghai-based lab specializing in respiratory infectious diseases – compared the activity of Sinopharm’s booster vaccine against an older coronavirus strain from Wuhan. </p> <p>The neutralising antibody activity of a Sinopharm <span class="caps">BBIBP</span>-CorV booster against Omicron showed a 20.1-fold reduction, compared with its activity against a Wuhan strain, according to the paper published on Saturday.</p> <p>Sinopharm did not immediately respond to a request for comment. </p> <p>Sinopharm’s <span class="caps">BBIBP</span>-CorV vaccine and Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac are the two most used vaccines in China and are the leading <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 vaccines exported by the country. Sinopharm also has a second vaccine in use in China. </p> <p>The study analysed samples from 292 healthcare workers who received a third dose, or booster shot, about eight to nine months after their second dose. After a further four weeks, serum samples from 78.1% participants retained neutralising activity against Omicron, researchers said in a paper that has not been peer reviewed. </p> <p>However, the study authors cautioned the results were not equal to how well a Sinopharm booster could shield recipients from diseases caused by Omicron, as neutralisation is only part of the human immune response. </p> <p>The testing against the earlier Wuhan strain showed that about eight to nine months after the second <span class="caps">BBIBP</span>-CorV shot, the neutralizing activity “could hardly be detected”, while the booster lifted the response significantly, according to the paper. </p> <p/> </div>