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Omicron subvariants escape antibody responses: study

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  • Subvariants can escape antibody responses among those who had contracted COVID-19 and those who are vaccinated, boosted. 
  • Vaccination is expected to provide substantial protection against coronavirus.
  • Study shows it may also increase “risk of vaccine-breakthrough COVID-19 infections.”

A new study shows that the Omicron subvariants BA4 and BA5 can escape antibody responses among people who had contracted COVID-19 and those who have been vaccinated and boosted. 

However, the vaccination is expected to provide substantial protection against coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the vaccine makers are also working on upgraded shots that may evoke a stronger immune response against the subvariants, CNN reported. 

According to the new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, compared with the original coronavirus, the levels of neutralising antibodies that a previous infection or vaccinations elicit are several times lower against the BA4 and BA5 subvariants. 

“We observed three-fold reductions of neutralizing antibody titers induced by vaccination and infection against BA4 and BA5 compared with BA1 and BA2, which are already substantially lower than the original COVID-19 variants,” wrote Dr Dan Barouch, who is an author of the paper. 

“Our data suggest that these new Omicron subvariants will likely be able to lead to surges of infections in populations with high levels of vaccine immunity as well as natural BA1 and BA2 immunity,” he added. 

The findings are separate researches by scientists at Columbia University, according to which, the escaping of BA4 and BA5 viruses also increases the “risk of vaccine-breakthrough COVID-19 infections.”

Their studies also suggest an increased risk of reinfection, among those people who had been immunised against the virus. 

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said that the subvariants are reported to be fast-spreading ones, which are expected to dominate the United States, United Kingdom and the rest of Europe in the upcoming few weeks. 

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Promoting Mother Languages: Int’l Mother Language Day Being Observed Today

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All around the world, including Pakistan, today is International Mother Language Day. “Multilingual education is a pillar of intergenerational learning” is this year’s topic for the day.

Numerous events have been planned to honor the day and emphasize the value of Pakistan’s regional languages.

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Foreign Nationals’ Repatriation: Thus Far, 493,648 Afghans Have Left Pakistan

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Afghans and other undocumented foreign people are still being returned to their country of origin in a courteous and secure way.

493,648 Afghan people who entered the country illegally have returned home so far.

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The government “extends” the three-month deployment of Rangers in Mianwali.

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The Interior Ministry brief was accepted by the federal cabinet, according to sources, and was distributed.

According to sources, the Punjabi government requested that Ranger’s deployment be prolonged in order to preserve the status of peace and order in Mianwali.

Additionally, sources revealed that the deployment extension will take effect from February 22, 2024, to May 19, 2024.

The district administration of Islamabad made the decision to prolong the deployment in the federal capital for a period of six months last year.

According to specifics, the local government asked the interior ministry for 300 more Rangers to form a Quick Response Force (QRF).

The stringent security measures in Islamabad led to the decision to prolong the deployment. The district administration requested the extension in writing from the interior ministry.

The federal cabinet gave its approval in May 2023 for the deployment of Pakistan Army soldiers in Balochistan and Rangers in Punjab.

A circular summary was used to sanction the deployment of Rangers and Pakistan Army soldiers in the provinces of Punjab and Balochistan. The deployment of the Rangers was authorized by 7 ATA.

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