Researchers in South Africa have discovered that people who have been infected with the omicron variant of the coronavirus develop enhanced immunity to the older delta variant.
The conclusion is the result of a new study conducted at Durban-based Africa Health Research Institute involving 33 vaccinated and unvaccinated people. The scientists found that immunity against a further exposure to omicron rose 14-fold about two weeks after infection, while also discovering that immunity against delta improved 4.4-fold.
The scientists say the immunity is especially enhanced among those who are inoculated.
Alex Sigal, the study’s co-author, said on Twitter Monday that if omicron is “less pathogenic” as it appears, “then this will help push delta out,” making it possible
“the disruption Covid-19 has caused in our lives may become less.”
The study, which has not been peer reviewed, has been submitted to the medical journal MedRxiv.
An earlier study out of South Africa revealed a reduced risk of hospitalization and severe illness from omicron, compared to delta.
The omicron strain has rapidly spread around the world since it was first detected in southern Africa in November.
Some information for this report came from Reuters.