Omicron and the Covid-19 Vaccine: There’s a Lot to Uncover

WhatsApp
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aman Priya Khanna
Written by Charu Shrivastava, last updated on 11 July 2023
Omicron and the Covid-19 Vaccine: There’s a Lot to Uncover

A significant surge in Covid-19 cases has been witnessed worldwide in the last couple of months. To be more specific:-

  • Europe registered more than 5 million new Covid-19 cases in the last week of 2021.
  • Following the footsteps, Britain’s daily Covid caseload breached 200,000 for the first time.
  • Australia, the first country to defeat Covid-19 in its entirety, reported 64,758 new cases on 5th Jan 2022.
  • The USA has set a new global record by reporting more than one million new Covid-19 cases in a single day.

And the latest culprit for this spike is Omicron - the new Coronavirus strain. 

The quick progression and transmission of Omicron have left some questions unanswered and raised a few new ones. So to shed some light, here’s a comprehensive article to answer all the questions concerning Omicron and the Covid-19 vaccination.

COVID19 Testing

First, collect the sample from one or more below mentioned ways:

  • A Swab Test: Oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swab test with the sample collected either or both from your throat or nose, respectively
  • A Nasal Aspirate – wherein a saline solution is injected into your nose, and then a sample is taken with a light suction
  • A Tracheal Aspirate -  Sample is collected from your trachea. A thin tube fitted with a torch is put through your mouth to your lungs
  • A Sputum Test - wherein you’ll be either required to cough up sputum (thick mucus that gets collected in the lungs and comes out while coughing) in a special cup or a swab is used to take a sample from your nose.
  • A Blood Test - the most common test - wherein a blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm.

Irrespective of the type of test, a diagnostic test is run on the sample taken from you to detect antigen infection.

Is the RT PCR Test Effective for Omicron? 

According to UNICEF, the widely used PCR and antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests continue to be the best identifier of Covid-19; Omicron is no exception. So yes, an RT-PCR test remains the best course of action to detect infection of Covid-19, including Omicron.

get the app
get the app

COVID19 Vaccination

Can Fully Vaccinate People Also Get Omicron Infection?

Scientists and researchers are still rummaging to figure out the reason behind the lightning-quick spread of this new Covid-19 mutation. However, in a world where vaccinations built up immunity and other variants of Covid-19 had difficulty gaining a foothold, Omicron is thriving. And, as of now, no one is immune to Omicron, even the fully vaccinated citizens. 

“This is a game-changing variant, especially in the vaccinated population where people have had a level of invincibility,” says Sumit Chanda, professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Scripps Research.

To answer the question, yes, even fully vaccinated people can get infected with Omicron. However, the good news is that experts say that this new variant is milder than the rest, and with a booster shot, can avert it completely,  which brings us to the next question

Is a Booster Dose Effective to Prevent Omicron Infection? 

“3 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is what you need to neutralize the Omicron variant,” says Pfizer. Further, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology company suggests, “the data indicate that the third dose of BNT162b2 increases the amount of neutralizing antibody titer by 25X as compared to two doses.”

To confirm the efficacy and results of the initial laboratory study, Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, mentioned in a press release that “Although two doses of the vaccine may still offer protection against the Omicron strain, it’s clear that protection is improved with the third dose of our vaccine.” He further added, “A booster shot remains the best course of action to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”

Which implies what? You may need a booster dose for more robust protection against the Omicron variant.

Will the Existing Vaccine Work Against Omicron?

According to WHO (World Health Organization), current vaccines remain effective against severe diseases and death. However, this doesn’t mean that one cannot get infected with Omicron. WHO is working rigorously with technical partners to comprehend the potential impact of this variant. Till then, vaccines and booster shots remain the ideal course of action to protect against Omicron.

Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-Founder of BioNTech, said, “The first dataset indicates that a third dose could offer a sufficient level of protection from any disease of any severity caused by the Omicron variant.” So as of now, it’s safe to say that existing vaccines are effective against Omicron. And the recent data published by the vaccination manufacturers provide an even stronger reason to get a booster shot if you are eligible.

Conclusion

The Final Word

Omicron is spreading at warp speed, and as the world awaits more answers, it’s imperative as ever to use all the tools and resources at your disposal to keep yourself and your loved ones happy and healthy.

So Stay Vaccinated, Stay Safe!

Modern medical practices have advanced enough to #simplify things. It is always more comfortable to consult and take treatment from a reliable and trusted Doctor or #righthospital. One’s good health and bodily comfort are paramount hence we must not give attention to what others will think about it rather must consult our doctor at the earliest on priority.

You can simply take advice, support and guidance on How to go about it? Which doctor to consult? etc. by contacting online healthcare professionals of #HexaHealth which has top doctors, top surgeons and best hospitals empanelled in their network that provides complete care services and #hasslefree #surgery experience at the right hospital and at the right price. Your one simple phone call with them will ease out all your worries, doubts and concerns.

 

Updated on : 11 July 2023

Reviewer

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More

Author

Charu Shrivastava

Charu Shrivastava

BSc. Biotechnology I MDU and MSc in Medical Biochemistry (HIMSR, Jamia Hamdard)

2 Years Experience

Skilled in SEO and passionate about creating informative and engaging medical content. Her proofreading and content writing for medical websites is impressive. She creates informative and engaging content that educ...View More

Related Expert Doctors

Dr. Navneet Sood

Dr Navneet Sood

Pulmonology

15 Years Experience

like96 % Recommended
Dr. Vivek Nangia

Dr Vivek Nangia

Pulmonology

27 Years Experience

like100 % Recommended
Dr. Prashant Saxena

Dr Prashant Saxena

Pulmonology

21 Years Experience

like98 % Recommended

Related Hospitals

Galaxy Superspeciality Clinic, Chembur

Galaxy Superspeciality Clinic, Chembur 

A2, Gurudev appartments, Ramakrishna Chemburkar Marg

rating4.8/5 Rating
Lilavati Hospital And Research Centre

Lilavati Hospital And Research Centre 

A-791, Bandra Reclamation Rd

rating4.6/5 Rating
Sai Kiran Chaudhuri Clinic

Sai Kiran Chaudhuri Clinic 

B - 57, Near Shree Ram Mandir

rating4.65/5 Rating
get the app
get the app

Related Treatments

aiChatIcon

Download HexaHealth App

Get free consultation with our expert doctors, store all your health records at one place and get real time updates of appointments, consultations & surgery.

google-play-downloadapp-store-download