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      mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine boosters induce neutralizing immunity against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant

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          Abstract

          Recent surveillance has revealed the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant (BA.1/B.1.1.529) harboring up to 36 mutations in spike protein, the target of vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies. Given its potential to escape vaccine-induced humoral immunity, we measured neutralization potency of sera from 88 mRNA-1273, 111 BNT162b, and 40 Ad26.COV2.S vaccine recipients against wild type, Delta, and Omicron SARS-CoV-2 pseudoviruses. We included individuals that were vaccinated recently (<3 months), distantly (6-12 months), or recently boosted, and accounted for prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Remarkably, neutralization of Omicron was undetectable in most vaccinated individuals. However, individuals boosted with mRNA vaccines exhibited potent neutralization of Omicron only 4-6-fold lower than wild type, suggesting that boosters enhance the cross-reactivity of neutralizing antibody responses. In addition, we find Omicron pseudovirus is significantly more infectious than any other variant tested. Overall, this study highlights the importance of boosters to broaden neutralizing antibody responses against highly divergent SARS-CoV-2 variants.

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          Journal
          medRxiv
          December 14 2021
          Article
          10.1101/2021.12.14.21267755
          70b7ee7b-1644-498e-9890-426ded6807d4
          © 2021

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