NEW YORK - According to a new study by scientists at Columbia University, the omicron variant of COVID-19 is "markedly resistant" to the current COVID vaccines, antibody treatments, and even booster shots.
"We found (omicron) to be markedly resistant to neutralization by serum not only from convalescent patients, but also from individuals vaccinated with one of the four widely used COVID-19 vaccines. Even serum from persons vaccinated and boosted with mRNA-based vaccines exhibited substantially diminished neutralizing activity against B.1.1.529," the study said.
The study has not yet been reviewed by other experts or edited by a scientific journal, as it is currently in the "pre-print" stage.
According to the study, existing antibody therapies like monoclonal antibody cocktails are largely ineffective against omicron, along with natural antibodies from previous infections.
The study continues to recommend vaccination and a booster shot in order to help protect against infection or serious or life-threatening complications from COVID-19.
In New York City, the COVID-19 positivity rate has almost doubled over the last three days, with health officials blaming omicron for the spike by evading vaccine and virus-induced immunity.
In response, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that the city will be giving out 500,000 rapid COVID tests and 1 million face masks in order to help prevent the spread of the virus.