Experts warn from mass reinfection of omicron

The new face of SARS-COV-2 has radically changed the rules of the game. Until the appearance of omicron, cases of reinfections were anecdotal and yet, now, "

Experts warn from mass reinfection of omicron

The new face of SARS-COV-2 has radically changed the rules of the game. Until the appearance of omicron, cases of reinfections were anecdotal and yet, now, "many people are reinfecting massively," says the immunologist Alfredo Corell. Such is the magnitude that in two weeks more cases of reinfection have been recorded than throughout the pandemic.

This is revealed by an analysis of the Charles III Institute (ISCIII). According to the latest published data, 20,890 reinfections have been accounted for in 15 days. The figure is strong if we compare it to the registry since the beginning of the pandemic until December 22, 2021: 17,140. That is, to date, the total amounts to 38,030.

A hurricane of recants that is presented as a last minute novelty in this version of the Coronavirus that does not stop surprising. Does this increase in reinfections should worry? "In his immense majority are being mild cases. But being so many, it is not disposable that there is any serious, although I am inclined to think that these are always going to be given among the unvaccinated population, which is mostly fair in the 20 to 40 years, around three million people They are those that have not been immunized, by one or another reason, "argues Corell.

Indeed, the vast majority of positives during these Christmas holidays "have been asymptomatic or with light symptoms." The problem is that "they have gone en masse to health centers and emergencies in hospitals to do the confirmatory test and this has collapsed the system."

In accordance with the ISCIII data, many of these consultations correspond to reinfections. In fact, the Catalan government ensured last week that 2% of their positives since the beginning of the pandemic were reinfections, a percentage that has increased after the staging of omicron up to 5% (among those affected over 50 years and 8% (among those under 50). Among them, many reinfections for the third time and in one case, four times, although there could be situations of prolonged and poorly cured infections. It is not disposable.

However, what can the increase in reinfections with omicron? Probably, "to the changes that this variant presents. Having had so many variations in protein S, previous antibodies, both vaccines and natural infections, are not entirely good and infection occurs, "the immunologist argues. Somehow, omicron escapes the action of antibodies that have been generated in our body by both previous infections and vaccines.

Does this mean that we have lost immunity? The response of Corell is ruled: "No. We have cellular immunity, which although it can not be measured as easily as that of antibodies, it is saving us, "explains the expert. "These cells are immediately launched the manufacture of new antibodies in front of the omicron variant". This cellular immunity takes about two or three days to start up and quickly overcomes the infection.

There is one who includes among his arguments so as not to vaccinate this peak of reinfections. Are you really vaccines protecting us? Corell's words sound clearly: "If people were not vaccinated, omicron would have made a stratospheric massacre." Right now, the symptoms are "Catarro, has no loss of smell or taste or difficulty in breathing or important fevers [...] These reinfections could be incorporated into the seasonal winter catarros. "

Omicron is "a more transmissible variant, but it catches us with great immunity and it is very light," says the immunologist. The first variant was not encountered immunity throughout the planet. He had free via and hence the severity that meant, the number of deaths and sequelae in cases of greater severity. Now, "Be natural or vaccinal, we have immunity," says Corell.

This is precisely the sense of vaccination. According to the expert, "we submit to immunization to be protection from each to a next contact", so that the response of our body is "more agile and fast". Vaccines are based on this principle of memory. "If we get infected once, we have a memory for the second."

Taking into account the arsenal of vaccines marketed and in development at this time, to what extent the new reality of reinfections will influence? In words of Corell, "these reinfections should lead to a design of vaccines and to rethink the vaccine strategy." That is, "it does not make much sense to get dose every six months permanently with the same initial design [...] if what is circulating is delta and omicron and they vaccinated us with these variants, we would be producing better immune response than with the Original variant of Wuhan ». In fact, there are trivating people who have reinfected.

Right now, Corell adds, "with RNA vaccines, three different molecules can go, which means that they could be simultaneously vaccinating from alpha, delta and omicron, put on the same puncture three different variants. This is being rehearsed ».

Increase levels of antibodies constantly in the general and healthy population every six months systematically "does not make sense from the immunological point of view". A study published in an Israel newspaper announced that the fourth dose multiplies for five antibodies. "We can not have high antibodies against Covid-19 all life. Antibodies produce when we have an infection or we vaccinated and spontaneously, are deciding over the months, but we have cells circulating that are responsible for launching the whole procedure in two or three days and this is what is being Obviando. We are looking for that we have high concentrations of blood antibodies. "

In case of omicron, with current vaccines, "infection is not avoided, but suffering serious illness."

Updated Date: 09 January 2022, 02:54

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