Is it time for an updated COVID vaccine?

Safeway pharmacist Preston Young fills a syringe with Moderna COVID-19 vaccination during a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on January 13, 2021 in Santa Rosa, California.
Safeway pharmacist Preston Young fills a syringe with Moderna COVID-19 vaccination during a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on January 13, 2021 in Santa Rosa, California. Photo credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) – The current COVID-19 vaccines were designed to target spike proteins in earlier coronavirus strains.

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But now the spikes look very different to the antibodies in vaccinated people.

"So they aren't doing quite as good a job at recognizing this new enemy, but they are doing a really good job once the enemy gets inside of you – with your T cells and B cells having memory and adaptivity – to keep you out of the hospital," UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Chin-Hong said.

Chin-Hong was a guest on KCBS Radio's "As Prescribed" on Thursday.

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He said all these breakthrough cases are disruptive, at the very least.

So it may soon be time to start talking about updating the (COVID-19 vaccine) shots to prevent infection.

"It may be a cocktail of like a delta plus an omicron, and it may update the spike protein so that antibodies, once developed to this booster, will do a better job at stopping some of the newer generation of variants," he added.

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