Omicron boosters are weaker against BQ.1.1 subvariant that is rising in U.S., study finds
CNBC, December 7, 2022
COVID shots designed to protect against the omicron variant trigger a weaker immune response against the rapidly emerging BQ.1.1 subvariant than the previously dominant strain, according to a new lab study. Scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch, in a study published online Tuesday in Nature Medicine, found that the booster shots performed well against the BA.5 subvariant they were designed to target. But the boosters did not trigger a robust response when faced with BQ.1.1, the scientists found. Antibodies were about four times lower against BQ.1.1 compared with BA.5. These neutralizing antibodies prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from invading human cells. Many other media organizations reported this news.