Omicron variant: Epidemiologist explains why we need third jab
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Prof Jeffrey Almond talked up the importance of taking the third Covid booster jab, saying that it increases “the concentration of antibodies” which are needed to kill off the virus. Prof Almond explained that the vaccine increases the concentration of antibodies in our system and as a result, it protects us against the virus. Two doses of COVID-19 vaccine are no longer deemed sufficient to prevent people from contracting the new variant.
Speaking to TalkRADIO presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer, he threw light on the efficiency as he likened antibodies to velcro.
He said: “You have to think about antibodies like a piece of Velcro that binds to the virus and kills it.
“If the virus changes, the velcro doesn’t fit as well and you need more antibodies to mop up the virus.
“The changes that we’ve seen in the S-protein of the Omicron are around the sides where we know the antibodies go into the virus.
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“And those changes make our antibodies less sticky for the Omicron.
“What the booster does is up the concentration of the antibodies.
“There’s more antibodies, so although the virus is trying to escape and doing a decent job, it’s hitting more and more antibodies in our blood system when it’s trying to replicate.
“So, a very high level of antibody keeps it back whereas lower levels struggle because of this improper fit they then have on this new strain.
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“The higher the concentration of antibodies the better chances you have of fending it off.”
To avoid things coming to a head again like last winter, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is ramping up the pressure to get people vaccinated and announced that all adults would now have the opportunity to get a booster jab by the end of the year.
The Prime Minister is hoping to roll out 1 million booster shots on a daily basis to ward off an incoming fourth wave due to the Omicron variant and in a bid to minimise the number of infections and casualties.
Omicron cases keep rising abruptly, with 1,265 cases reported to date as the new variant is said to be more “infectious” than Delta.
University of Oxford scientists revealed that the new variant could unleash a new wave of COVID-19 infections and even vaccinated can catch and spread the virus.
There were long queues outside vaccination centres today as people scramble to get their third dose after Mr Johnson’s plea.
A recent study found that a third booster jab would stop “75 percent of people getting any Covid symptoms”.
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