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Previous COVID-19 Infection Does Not Protect Kids From Omicron: Study

Children who previously had COVID-19 or the inflammatory condition MIS-C are not protected against the Omicron variant of coronavirus, according to a study

Previous COVID-19 Infection Does Not Protect Kids From Omicron: Study
Children who had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine showed higher neutralising antibody titers against the five variants, including Omicron: Study
Highlights
  • Unvaccinated children remain susceptible to Omicron: Study
  • Researchers studied samples taken during 2020 and early 2021
  • Antibodies by prior infections in children don't neutralise Omicron: Study

Boston: Children who previously had COVID-19 or the inflammatory condition MIS-C are not protected against the Omicron variant of coronavirus, according to a study which found vaccination, however, does afford protection. The findings of the study, published recently in the journal Nature Communications, are similar to those found in adults. “I hear parents say, ‘Oh, my kid had COVID last year,'” said Adrienne Randolph, of Boston Children’s Hospital, US, senior author of the research paper.

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But we found that antibodies produced by prior infections in children don’t neutralise Omicron, meaning that unvaccinated children remain susceptible to Omicron,  Randolph said.

The researchers, including Surender Khurana, from the US Food and Drug Administration obtained blood samples from 62 children and adolescents hospitalised with severe COVID-19. They also used data from 65 children and adolescents hospitalised with MIS-C, and 50 outpatients who had recovered from mild COVID-19.All the samples were taken during 2020 and early 2021, before the emergence of the Omicron variant.In the laboratory, the researchers exposed the samples to a pseudovirus, and measured how well antibodies in the samples were able to neutralise five different SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron. A pseudovirus is derived from SARS-CoV-2, but stripped of its virulence. Overall, children and adolescents showed some loss of antibody cross-neutralisation against all five variants, but the loss was most pronounced for Omicron, the researchers said.

Also Read: With mRNA Vaccine, India Will Have Flexibility Against COVID-19: Scientist

Omicron is very different from previous variants, with many mutations on the spike protein, and this work confirms that it is able to evade the antibody response, said Randolph.

“Unvaccinated children remain susceptible,” the researcher said. In contrast, children who had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine showed higher neutralising antibody titers against the five variants, including Omicron. The researchers hope these findings will encourage parents to have their children and teens vaccinated.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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