Geert Vanden Bossche: My opinion on the new African variants

The world may be taken by surprise but that doesn’t include us. It remains to be seen whether Omicron can outcompete Delta (to be confirmed). If that’s the case, we’re definitely not in good shape.

In case of CoV, innate immunity protects the individual and the ‘herd’ ( sterilizing immunity, no natural selection pressure, herd immunity) whereas adaptive immunity induced with leaky vaccines has exactly the opposite effect.

THE big Q is whether such an immune escape variant could even resist naturally acquired Abs in people who recovered from C19 disease. I am, indeed, cautious and worried about ADE, even in the unvaccinated who recovered from C-19 disease as they may no longer be able to control viral infection. ADE would equal ‘enhanced virulence’. Difficult to predict.

Mass vaccination has compressed the evolutionary trajectory of the virus from a few hundred years (?) down to one year. Hope that naturally primed individuals can deal with that speed.

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