Study Suggests Past COVID Infection May Not Fend Off Omicron

An Orange Farm, South Africa, resident receives her jab against COVID-19 Friday Dec. 3, 2021 at the Orange Farm multipurpose center. South Africa has accelerated its vaccination campaign a week after the discovery of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

(AP) — South African scientists are warning that the new omicron variant may be causing more reinfections among COVID-19 survivors than earlier virus mutants.

A research group has been tracking reinfections in South Africa. They spotted a jump with the arrival of omicron, saying the timing suggests “substantial” evidence that this mutant can escape the protection of a prior infection more than the extra-contagious delta variant.

The findings are preliminary, posted online before scientific review. The study didn’t examine the question of how much protection vaccines still offer.


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