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Pfizer-BioNTech refutes allusions: Third dose of vaccine protects against Omicron variant

Pfizer-BioNTech refutes allusions: Third dose of vaccine protects against

A booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine appears to offer strong protection against the omicron variant, the companies announced on Wednesday.

They said the results of the laboratory study show that a third dose of their vaccine provides a similar level of neutralizing antibodies to omicron, comparable to the two doses against the original coronavirus and other variants that have emerged.

In the blood samples from those who received they saw a 25-fold drop in antibodies against the new variant. This may indicate that two doses of the vaccine may not be enough to protect against omicron infection, although they can still prevent serious illness, bio-pharmaceutical companies said.

"If this data stands, then these are good signs," said Ali Ellebedy, an associate professor of pathology and immunology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. "This means that less fully vaccinated individuals ... are more likely to be protected from serious diseases."

As the multi-mutated omicron variant, first identified in South Africa, is spreading across the globe, scientists are competing to determine how the available vaccines against it will work.

"The three doses against omicron are almost equivalent to the effectiveness of the two doses we had against the ... original variant," Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told NBC on Wednesday.

"You may need to go get the third booster faster, and this is something the health authorities need to consider very carefully and make their recommendations," he added. "But obviously having two doses compared to nothing protects you much better than having nothing."