Omicron & antibodies
The cover shows human bronchial cells infected with SARS-CoV-2, captured using a scanning electron microscope. In this week’s issue, a collection of six papers reveals key information about the ability of the highly infectious Omicron variant to evade existing vaccines. Since it was identified last November, Omicron has spread around the globe at a remarkable rate. Together, the papers in this issue show that Omicron’s high level of mutations allows it to dodge many elements of the immune response raised against it. Crucially, however, vaccines do retain some efficacy, albeit at a reduced level, while booster shots greatly enhance protection against infection and serious illness.