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Omicron can be targeted with the mRNA Vaccines

Existing vaccines may not be as efficient as they have been if the Omicron variation of the coronavirus is sufficiently distinct from the original variant. If this is the case, firms will very certainly need to alter their vaccinations to better combat Omicron. Essentially, it’s an issue of whether a virus has evolved to the point that antibodies produced by the original vaccine are no longer capable of recognising and combating the new mutant strain. Spike proteins are used by coronaviruses to bind to ACE-2 receptors on the surface of human cells and infect them. All mRNA COVID-19 vaccines function by sending mRNA instructions to cells, instructing them to manufacture a harmless version of the spike protein.

The human body then produces antibodies in response to the spike protein. If a person is ever exposed to the coronavirus, the antibodies bind to the coronavirus’s spike protein, preventing the virus from infecting the individual’s cells. The spike protein of the Omicron variant has a new mutation pattern. Some – but probably not all – of the antibodies induced by current vaccines may be unable to bind to the spike protein as a result of these changes. If this happens, the vaccines may be less effective in protecting people from becoming infected with the strain and transferring it.

Existing mRNA vaccines, such as those developed by Moderna and Pfizer, code for a spike protein produced by the original coronavirus strain. The Omicron spike protein would be encoded by the mRNA instructions in a new or updated vaccination. A new vaccine might be created by replacing the genetic code of the original spike protein with that of this new version, resulting in antibodies that more effectively bind the virus and prevent it from infecting cells. People who have already been vaccinated or exposed to COVID-19 would most likely just require a single booster dose of a new vaccine to be protected not only from the new strain but also from any other strains that may still be in circulation.

If Omicron replaces Delta as the prevalent strain, those who have not been vaccinated will only need 2-3 doses of the new vaccine. People would most likely receive a combination of the current and upgraded vaccines if both Delta and are in circulation. To manufacture an updated mRNA vaccination, you’ll need two things: the spike protein’s genetic sequence from a new variety of concern and a DNA template to build the mRNA.

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