Unvaccinated people who catch Delta strain have very little protection against Omicron infection, scientists fear

BRITS who earlier tested positive for the Delta Covid variant but aren't jabbed "have very little protection against Omicron", scientists fear.

Top docs measured the antibody response of volunteers who had previously tested positive for the Delta strain.


When the new and highly infectious Omicron variant was introduced to the blood, just one in seven people made enough antibodies to attack and neutralise it.

It means that having a previous infection alone doesn't help fight against Omicron, the Austrian scientists said.

Omicron is currently tearing through Britain, with a further 90,629 cases reported across the UK today alone.

A total of 15,363 of these were the mutant strain.

The spread makes it more vital than ever for vaccine volunteers to sign up to The Sun's Jabs Army campaign.

The Medical University of Innsbruck study – which did not take into account T cell and B cell immunity due to them being difficult to measure – did say that having had the Delta strain and being double jabbed makes Brits "super immune".

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Of the samples of blood taken from jab-free people who previously had the Delta variant, just one in seven were able to deem Omicron – a more mutated strain – a threat.

The blood of people who had survived Delta and then got double jabbed fared much better.

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Their antibody responses were around four times better than people who were double jabbed but infection-free.

Brits who got a jab then became infected with Covid fared twice as well as those with two vaccines who dodged a positive test all together, scientists found.

People with two Pfizer jabs appeared to do better against Omicron than those with two AstraZeneca vaccines.

Out of 20 Pfizer-jabbed samples, nine people produced enough antibodies to combat Omicron – compared to zero out of 20 AstraZeneca.

'SUPER IMMUNE'

Reacting to the study, microbiology professor Lawrence Young from the University of Warwick said it suggested Omicron may be able to dodge vaccine protection.

He told MailOnline: "This paper with small numbers of samples confirms data from previous studies and further emphasises the immune-evasive properties of the Omicron variant."

But he stressed that while it may be risky to make assumptions based on the study, all Brits should get their booster jabs.

It comes as Boris Johnson confirmed there is "not enough data" for another lockdown yet – but fresh restrictions could be imposed after Christmas.

After weeks of uncertainty, the PM has confirmed that the big day can go ahead for families across England, despite the "extremely difficult" Omicron situation.

In a sombre warning of measures to come, he said he "will be ready to take action" after Boxing Day if the situation spirals out of control.

He claimed a lack of information on the severity of Omicron, the rate of hospitalisations and the impact of the UK's monumental booster jab rollout means no new measures are needed yet.

However Mr Johnson said the situation is "finely balanced" as the Omicron variant rips through Britain.

Today a further 90,629 cases were reported – with 15,363 Omicron cases alone.

The PM told the nation: "There is no doubt that Omicron continues to surge with a speed unlike anything we’ve seen before. 

"The situation remains extremely difficult but I also recognise that people have been waiting to hear whether their Christmas plans are going to be affected. 

"So what I can say tonight, is that naturally we can’t rule out any further measures after Christmas – and we’re going to keep a constant eye on the data, and we’ll do whatever it takes to protect public health. 

"But in view of the continuing uncertainty about several things – the severity of Omicron, uncertainty about the hospitalisation rate or the impact of the vaccine rollout or the boosters, we don’t think today that there is enough evidence to justify any tougher measures before Christmas."

Brits have been urged to "exercise caution" and follow Government guidance – including wearing a mask indoors when required, keeping fresh air circulating and taking a test before visiting vulnerable or elderly relatives.


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