A new study suggests that the omicron variant of the coronavirus could soon displace the delta variant completely because the new variant offers immunity against the older variant.

Per Reuters, researchers in South Africa recently conducted a study that looked at how the omicron variant would spread against the delta variant.

  • The study — which was done among a small group of people and was not peer-reviewed — took samples from people who were infected with the omicron variant. Some of the people were fully vaccinated, some were not.
  • The researchers looked to see if the people could neutralize omicron and delta variants 14 days later, according to The Times of Israel.
  • Scientists found that 13 people had a 14-fold increase in antibodies to stop the omicron variant and a 4.4-fold increase in their ability to stop the delta variant.

Alex Sigal, a researcher at Africa Health Research Institute, was the lead author of the study.

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Interestingly, experts suggested for a long time that COVID-19 variants would struggle to outpace the delta variant since so many people had been infected by delta, as I wrote for the Deseret News. The delta variant appeared to create so much immunity that any variants — like the mu and lambda variants — would struggle to grow.

  • “These viruses are all competing with each other for advantage to be the one that survives,” Dr. Anna Durbin, a professor in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told Newsweek. “We know that the lambda variant has some of the same mutations as the delta variant that we think (will) allow it to be more transmissible, so it would be difficult to outcompete the delta variant.”
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