Cases of Omicron, a dangerous variant of the Coronavirus pandemic, are rapidly increasing worldwide. This variant has created a panic-like atmosphere in countries all over the world. Meanwhile, some good news has arrived. AstraZeneca is collaborating with Oxford to develop an anti-Omicron vaccine. AstraZeneca has stated that it is collaborating with Oxford University on the development of a vaccine for the Omicron variant.
"We have taken preliminary steps to develop an Omicron variant vaccine, if necessary, with the University of Oxford," an AstraZeneca spokesperson said in a statement. "We will be informed when the data is released." While Sandy Douglas, the leader of an Oxford research group, has stated that adenovirus-based vaccines (the vaccine developed by Oxford/AstraZeneca) can be used to respond more quickly to any new variant.
According to reports, Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer Company, has stated that Pfizer is already manufacturing the vaccine due to the keen interest of governments, as increasing cases of Covid-19 infection, including a large number of Omicron cases, are raising concerns. He has stated that the vaccine will be available in March. 'I'm not sure if we'll need it or not,' says the CEO. I'm not sure if it'll be used or not.
Simultaneously, AstraZeneca announced that a preclinical study found that its antibody combination 'Evoshield' retained the activity of neutralizing the Omicron form for the prevention of coronavirus infection. The Center for Biologics Evolution and Research at the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) conducted this study independently.
EvoShield (tixagevimab and cilgavimab) is a corona-prevention antibody combination with a long half-life. According to the company, studies show that Evoshield retains neutralizing activity against Omicron variants.
However, three months after two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, its protection begins to wane. This is according to a study published in the Lancet journal. According to data from Brazil and Scotland, people who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine require a booster dose to protect against serious disease. In India, the AstraZeneca vaccine is known as Covishield. Researchers examined data from 2 million Scots who received the AstraZeneca vaccine and 42 million Brazilians.
According to the researchers, the odds of hospitalization or death due to coronavirus infection increased nearly five-fold in Scotland five months after both doses, compared to two weeks after the second dose. The vaccine's efficacy was first noticed three months later, when the risk of hospitalization and death doubled, compared to two weeks after the second dose, they said. Researchers in Scotland and Brazil discovered that just four months after the second dose, the likelihood of hospitalization and the risk of death increased threefold.