Pfizer says the protection provided by two doses of its anti-COVID-19 vaccine against previous strains will match that provided by three doses of its coronavirus vaccine against the Omicron variant.
A booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been found to provide strong protection against the newly detected Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, NBC News reported on December 8, quoting Pfizer and BioNTech.
Pfizer said the protection provided by two doses of its anti-COVID-19 vaccine against previous strains will match that provided by three doses of its coronavirus vaccine against the Omicron variant.
A recent study has found that the blood samples from those who received only the primary series of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine report a drop of 25-fold in antibodies against the new, highly mutated Omicron variant, which was first detected in South Africa last month.
The lab study that is yet to be peer-reviewed revealed that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine provides less immunity against Omicron than from other coronavirus variants. The immunity was found to be higher among those who have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine and have also been infected by the virus.
The emergence of Omicron has raised concerns that, based on the large number of mutations in the spike protein and elsewhere on the virus, this variant will have a considerable escape from vaccine-elicited immunity. The SARS-CoV-2 virus uses the spike protein to enter and infect human cells.
“The clinical implications of these important laboratory data need to be determined. It is likely that lesser vaccine-induced protection against infection and disease would be the result,” said Professor Willem Hanekom, executive director at Africa Health Research Institute, South Africa.
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