Omicron Variant: Source of Natural Immunity? Here's What Experts Have to Say

Omicron Variant: Source of Natural Immunity? Here’s What Experts Have to Say

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First reported in South Africa, Omicron has become a dominant variant of coronavirus in some parts of the world. In the last couple of weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases around the world has shot up, which is alarming for health authorities. Omicron is considered one of the prime contributors to the recent spike. The Omicron tally of India is currently standing at 1,892. So far, only a few cases of severity have been reported but the heavily mutating nature of the variant is a matter of concern for health officials.

Can Omicron be Source of Natural Immunity?

When an individual gets infected with the SARS-CoV-2, they are expected to have developed a certain level of immunity against the virus, in other words, natural immunity. Though this immunity does not last forever, people are bound to take all mandatory precautions and get vaccinated.

Now, considering that the Omicron variant has a heavily mutating nature and the majority of symptoms have been reported to be mild, some virologists are suggesting that it could probably lead to widespread immunity. It means, Omicron variant could act as a ‘natural vaccine’.

Professor Ian Jones, a virologist at the University of Reading, in an interview with Mail Online backed the idea of Omicron becoming nature’s own vaccine. According to the virologist, the new variant can give an immunity boost without causing serious illness. He opined that like the flu or common cold, Omicron does not pose any dangers to healthy and fit people. Jones said that “contracting the Omicron could boost the immunity without causing a serious illness.”

On the flip side, there are some experts who have dismissed the claims of Omicron becoming a natural vaccine. One of the noted virologists Shahid Jameel came to the forefront and has termed it a “dangerous idea.” According to Jameel, these rumours are being spread by irresponsible people, who don’t take COVID-19 infection into account. Considering malnutrition, air pollution, and diabetes in India, Jamleel, in an interview with PTI, said that willingly exposing people to a virus, about which only little is known, is not good science.

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