mRNA vaccines against Covid might not defend Omicron – ICMR Head

    Will the mRNA vaccines work against the newly found high risk covid 19 mutant strain in South Africa? ICMR Head Dr. Samiran Panda say it might not.

    Dr. Samiran Panda, the head of the Indian Council of Medical Research’s epidemiology and communicable diseases branch, said mRNA vaccines against Covid might not be effective against Omicron based on the facts provided thus far.

    “Spike protein and receptor interaction are the targets of mRNA vaccines. As a result, mRNA vaccines will need to be adjusted to account for the already observed alteration. However, not all immunizations are the same.” Dr. Panda stated about his take on whether mRNA will work against Omicron.

    mRNA Vaccines may not be effective against Omicron

    The detection of a new covid 19 high risk variant called as the Omicron in South Africa, reported in other countries, has prompted WHO to convene an emergency meeting, which also triggered a hurried crisis meeting called by the PM of India urging officials to be proactive and reassess foreign travel guidelines.

    Structure alterations have been noticed in Omicron so far, according to Dr Panda. However, further research is needed to demonstrate that the variant is dangerous than the other Covid types. “Structural modifications have been found in a newly reported emergent variety, which is indicative of the likelihood of adherent to cell, higher affinity for cellular receptors, and transmission,” Dr Panda added.

    However, it is necessary to investigate if the variation spreads quickly or causes clusters of infection that take a little longer to manifest. He said that by examination, he meant laboratory-based observations and population-based investigations.


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