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Your body can still recognize the omicron variant after previous infection and vaccination, studies say

A pair of studies show that disease-fighting T cells can recognize the omicron variant

An illustration of virus particles.
A pair of studies show that disease-fighting T cells can recognize the omicron variant.
Illustration by Michelle Budge, Deseret News

Two new studies offered promising news about the omicron variant of the coronavirus, suggesting that our bodies can still recognize the omicron variant after vaccination and previous infection.

  • The two studies found that T-cell responses that come from COVID-19 vaccination and previous COVID-19 infections still recognize the omicron variant.
  • These T-cell responses should still offer protection against serious COVID-19 disease, according to Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

The first study — published on medRxiv before peer-review — found that the T-cell responses from a previous COVID-19 infection and a COVID-19 vaccination remain robust against the omicron variant.

The second study — published on bioRxiv ahead of peer-review — found that the COVID-19 vaccine creates a T-cell response that remembers variants from alpha all the way through to omicron.

These studies come as researchers at Columbia University found the omicron variant of COVID-19 is “markedly resistant” to the current COVID-19 vaccines, antibody treatments and COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, as I wrote for the Deseret News.