Have COVID-19 vaccines blunted the immune response to Omicron?

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Probably one of the most important questions to be answered at this point in the pandemic, as it has significant implications for population health. Additionally, it challenges the idea of hybrid immunity being more effective than natural immunity.

If the risk to Health Care Workers (HCWs) and other public facing workers of repeat Omicron and further variant infection is increased, this could be a disaster!

Reynolds, Catherine J., et al. "Immune boosting by B. 1.1. 529 (Omicron) depends on previous SARS-CoV-2 exposure." Science 377.6603 (2022): eabq1841.

This study followed a London cohort of Health Care Workers (HCWs) from March 2020 to January 2022. It is possibly the most comprehensive review of immunity throughout the pandemic and we congratulate these researchers for their diligence.

The research seems to indicate that HCWs who were infected with the Wuhan variant early in the pandemic have depressed immune responses to Omicron after being triple vaccinated.

Has natural immunity been dampened by vaccination?

Could this explain the rising Omicron cases in highly vaccinated parts of the world?

Is this a perfect example of shooting ourselves in the foot?

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