Studies suggest that doses of Pfizer may only partially protect against Omicron

Studies suggest that doses of Pfizer may only partially protect against Omicron

The Omicron variant may partially avoid protection from two doses of Pfizer. So stated today the head of research of a laboratory at the African Health Research Institute in South Africa.

The study showed that blood from people who had received two doses of the vaccine and had been infected with Covid were able to neutralize the virus, suggesting that booster doses of the vaccine could help avoid infection.

The Omicron variant which was first discovered in South Africa has set an alarm worldwide with about two dozen states confirming the first cases.

The WHO classified it as a concern variant on November 26 but also stated that there was no evidence whether a new vaccine would be needed to neutralize the new variant.

A special laboratory test by virology Sandra Ciesek of Frankfurt University Hospital painted a somewhat gloomier picture.

Exposing the blood of vaccinated individuals to different strains of the virus, she found that the ability to elicit an antibody response to Omicron in people who had three injections of BioNTech / Pfizer was up to 37 times lower than the response to Deltas.

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said a major drop in the antibody response of people vaccinated to Omicron was expected. "This does not mean the vaccine will not work - T cell immunity (is likely) to continue," she said on Twitter, referring to a cellular immune response believed to prevent serious illness as a second line. of immune defense.

Preliminary data do not indicate that the vaccine is less capable of preventing serious illness or death.