Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Advantage of Inactivated Vaccine for Preventing the Omicron Outbreak

Version 1 : Received: 4 March 2022 / Approved: 4 March 2022 / Online: 4 March 2022 (09:10:15 CET)

How to cite: Lian, X.; Huang, J.; Zhang, L.; Zhao, Y.; Wang, D.; Gao, S.; Wang, R.; Song, X. The Advantage of Inactivated Vaccine for Preventing the Omicron Outbreak. Preprints 2022, 2022030076. Lian, X.; Huang, J.; Zhang, L.; Zhao, Y.; Wang, D.; Gao, S.; Wang, R.; Song, X. The Advantage of Inactivated Vaccine for Preventing the Omicron Outbreak. Preprints 2022, 2022030076.


The COVID-19 pandemic has now become very severe as never before due to the overwhelming spread of Omicron. We found that Omicron outbreak can be effectively prevented by inactivated vaccines, which averted an outbreak of more than 1.6 million people in Hangzhou, China. The 36 mutations in the target spike protein of Omicron neutralizing antibody enable it to evade the immune protection afforded by vaccines. This is because that mRNA and adenovirus-vector vaccines are designed to recognize the spike (S) glycoprotein of the SARS-CoV-2 wild-type (WT) strain. However, Inactivated vaccines contain the whole viral antigens and remain stable in their recognition of newly emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2. Our study confirmed the advantage of inactivated vaccines in the face of highly mutated Omicron variant and provided a basis for the development of effective vaccines to prevent future long-term transmission, mutation and recurrence of SARS-CoV-2.


COVID-19; Omicron; inactivated vaccines


Biology and Life Sciences, Anatomy and Physiology

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 19 March 2022
Commenter: (Click to see Publons profile: )
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: I want to thank and applaud the attempt and efforts of the researchers working on the simulation model and collecting public data regarding the current Omicron and vaccine situations worldwide.

The mathematical model is not my area of expertise, and hence, I am not going to make any comment or pretend to understand all the calculations behind it. Furthermore, I do not have any medical background or knowledge in any related field of physical health science. However, I would like to point out two issues with this article based on my limited understanding of the subject matter.

(1) The argument in the article has omitted key variables that affect the levels of Omicron infections in different countries
- the strength of policy and execution in controlling border traffics and minimizing import cases has greatly reduced the chance of a domestic outbreak.
- level of vaccination at the population level, in different age groups
- the number of vaccinations and the time of vaccination will impact the level of protection as protection level wanes as neutralizing antibody level drops over time.
- infection rate will also be affected by lifestyle differences
- overall attitudes to vaccinations

There are just too many variables affecting the overall country-level infection rate.

(2) On page 3, you mentioned, "In addition, inactivated vaccines contain additional viral antigens, which may also elicit T-cell immunity, resulting in higher responses [14,15]. Studies have shown that CoronaVac induces higher CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses to the structural protein than BNT162b2 [14]." You cited results from a study by the team at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in the reference [14] (Mok et al., 2022). However, I also read contrasting evidence that CoronaVac induces less T-cell than BNT162b2 (Peng et al., 2022), released recently in Lancet by the Hong Kong University (HKU) team. So, the matter is still far from conclusive.

With these two points, I just wanted to point out the title of this article, and the way the points were argued could be somewhat misleading. Moreover, scientists ought to be more prudent in their studies and interpretations as it pertains to something of life and death importance as vaccinations against COVID-19.

Mok, C. K. P., Cohen, C. A., Cheng, S. M. S., Chen, C., Kwok, K.-O., Yiu, K., Chan, T.-O., Bull, M., Ling, K. C., Dai, Z., Ng, S. S., Lui, G. C.-Y., Wu, C., Amarasinghe, G. K., Leung, D. W., Wong, S. Y. S., Valkenburg, S. A., Peiris, M., & Hui, D. S. (2022). Comparison of the immunogenicity of BNT162b2 and CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccines in Hong Kong. Respirology, 27(4), 301–310.

Peng, Q., Zhou, R., Wang, Y., Zhao, M., Liu, N., Li, S., Huang, H., Yang, D., Au, K.-K., Wang, H., Man, K., Yuen, K.-Y., & Chen, Z. (2022). Waning immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern among vaccinees in Hong Kong. EBioMedicine, 77, 103904.
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