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Omicron Variants Resistant, Endangering Some People


New Omicron Subspecies The White House warned this week that HIV patients, kidney transplant recipients, and other immunocompromised people are resistant to major antibody treatments, making them particularly vulnerable to Covid this winter.

Dr. Ashish Jha, White House Covid chief, said, “With some new variants emerging, some of the major tools we had to protect immune-compromised people like Evusheld. may not work, and that is a big challenge, the task force told reporters on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden warned the adults who have weakened the immune systems of an estimated 7 million people in the United States. particularly at riskbut he could offer little reassurance beyond telling him to talk to his doctor about what precautions he should take.

new variant The president said some of the existing precautions may be ineffective for immunocompromised people before receiving boosters on Tuesday. We strongly recommend that you take precautions. “

The message conflicts with the White House’s repeated assurances that the US will have all the vaccines and treatments it needs to fight Covid this winter. Expect further surge.

This may be true for the general public, but not for those with weak immune systems. They include cancer patients, organ transplant recipients, HIV-infected people, and people taking drugs for autoimmune diseases.

Evusheld is an antibody cocktail approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent Covid in people over the age of 12 with moderately or severely compromised immune systems. This drug is given to him as two injections every six months before infection.

Evsheld AstraZenecahas helped bridge the defense gap in people with weak immune systems who are unable to mount a strong response to vaccines. Camille Cotten, an infectious disease expert who specializes in treating people with weak immune systems The drug and several doses of vaccination have significantly reduced hospitalizations in this cohort in the past few months, according to the WHO.

Cotton, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and an independent agency member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said: Vaccine Advisory Board.

However, the more immunoevasive omicron subvariants such as BA.4.6, BA.2.75.2, BF.7, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are resistant to Evusheld. According to the National Institutes of HealthFor example, scientists at Columbia University found that Evusheld completely ineffective Against BA.4.6.

Also, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are likely to be resistant to bebuterobimab, Eli Lilly This is to prevent immune-compromised people infected with Covid from becoming seriously ill, according to the NIH.

As Omicron BA.5 declines, populations with compromised immune systems become increasingly vulnerable, as these new subvariant herds account for about 38% of infections in the United States, according to CDC data. state.

Pfizer’s antiviral drug paxlovid is still effective against the Omicron subspecies, but organ transplant recipients often cannot take the pill because of the way it interacts with the other drugs they need. said Cotton.

“I am concerned that the near future is going to be a difficult time for immunocompromised patients,” said Kotton. “Evusheld’s monoclonal antibody will be less protective, and bebtelovimab will provide ineffective treatment against several emerging variants.”

And there is no assistance at this time. Kotton said he did not recognize monoclonal antibodies ready to replace those that subvariants are scraping off. Jha acknowledged at the White House on Tuesday that as Covid evolves, US treatment and prevention options for people with weaker immune systems are dwindling. accused Congress of failing to provide $22.5 billion in funding to

“As the pandemic progressed and the fight against this virus progressed, we hoped to expand our medicine cabinet,” Jha told reporters. is actually shrinking, putting vulnerable people at risk.”

Finding ways to protect people with compromised immune systems is the most important issue of the current pandemic and needs to be addressed quickly, says Andrew Pekos, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University. said.

“What we really need to work on is getting new antibody therapies out of the lab and into the clinic,” said Pekosz. “In the lab, scientists know what the next generation of monoclonal antibodies will look like.”

Cotton said people with compromised immune systems should get vaccine updates. This means we need to get a new booster that targets the Omicron BA.5. A person who has been kept up to date throughout the pandemic, so far he has had six vaccinations.

According to CDC guidelines, those starting from scratch will receive a three-dose primary series that includes older generation shots from Moderna or Pfizer, as well as a new booster that targets Omicron.

Those with compromised immune systems should continue to be vigilant this winter, Kotton said. But she said the group is more committed than others to wearing masks and practicing mitigation measures to avoid the virus.

The bigger problem is that large portions of the public are on the move and are not taking basic precautions, such as wearing masks, to reduce transmission and protect vulnerable populations, said Cotton. I got

“The more masks we all wear in public, the safer we are and the more likely we are to return to many activities safely,” she said.

Jah told NBC News on Tuesday that Biden’s telling people with weakened immune systems to consult a doctor about precautions shows that the burden of responsibility has shifted to individuals rather than the wider community. I was asked if there was

“As a society, as a compassionate society, we care about all Americans, especially the most vulnerable Americans,” Jah said. “So I think it’s a collective responsibility for all of us to care for our fellow immunocompromised Americans.”

The CDC recommends that people in communities with moderate risk levels for Covid self-test and wear a quality mask before meeting indoors with someone at high risk of getting sick. People exposed to it should wear a quality mask when indoors in public.

With high Covid levels, people generally should consider wearing quality masks and vulnerable people should consider avoiding indoor activities in non-essential public spaces, according to the CDC . You can do it Check your county’s Covid levels on the CDC website.




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