In view of the new adapted Omicron vaccines, virologist Hendrik Streeck is dampening expectations. “The booster again ensures a slightly increased antibody level in the blood of vaccinated people. How well it protects against infection has not been tested,” said the scientist, who is a member of the German government’s Corona Expert Council, of the German Press Agency.
One has to assume that the effect will be the same as with the previous booster, i.e. with protection against infection for an approximate period of three months.
“Protection against infection for a longer period of time has not been proven and is also not likely,” said the director of the Institute of Virology at the University of Bonn. Despite everything, there is good protection against serious illness here, as with the previous vaccines.
On Thursday, the European Medicines Agency Ema cleared the way for two vaccines adapted to the omicron variant for people aged twelve and over: These are boosters that also take into account the BA.1 subline.
“You have to say very clearly: The use of the adapted vaccine is not necessary for everyone,” said Streeck. A second booster vaccination with the new preparation makes sense for the groups to which the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) is already recommending this, i.e. certain groups at risk of severe courses – such as people over 60 years of age.
“It’s not the case that every young, fit, vaccinated person needs to get a dose of it as soon as possible – especially not if you went through a corona infection in the summer. In most cases, these were already infections with the BA.5 subline, which can be seen as a substitute for the booster.” He advised against getting vaccinated again immediately after an infection.