Hybrid immunity, particularly after BA.1 or BA.2 infection, confers substantial protection against the latest COVID variant.
By Tej Kumar
It’s been three years since the COVID-19 pandemic hit our lives, yet the deluge of misinformation about the coronavirus refuses to subside. Recently, some ‘news’ articles in India claimed that the Omicron BA.5 subvariant can be fatal for the brain. The claim caused public panic.
The Press Information Bureau’s fact-checking arm PIB Fact Check was quick to label the ‘news’ as misleading. The claim was based on a study done on mice and it is yet to be peer-reviewed.
On the other hand, studies have established that COVID vaccination, together with the high number of breakthrough infections, especially following the emergence of Omicron subvariants, makes hybrid immunity (resulting from vaccine and infection) common. Hybrid immunity, particularly after BA.1 or BA.2 infection, confers substantial protection against the BA.5 infection, finds a recent study published in The Lancet.
“The daily cases in India are still under 200 and the positivity rate is 0.1%, despite the surge in COVID cases in China. That means there is no reason to panic. However, it’s good to be cautious,” says Dr Pallavali Roja Rani, a virologist and microbiology specialist at Darwin NCL Solutions, Hyderabad, India.
Stay safe. Stay informed.