The research found that blood from individuals who had two doses of the vaccination and had a past infection was able to neutralise the variant in the majority of cases, indicating that booster doses of the vaccine may help ward against Omicron.
Pfizer COVID Vaccine Is Unable To Provide Full Protection Against Omicron
According to the research leader of a laboratory at the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus may partially escape the protection from two doses of Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and partner BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Nonetheless, the research found that blood from individuals who had two doses of the vaccination and had a past infection could neutralise the variant in the majority of cases, indicating that booster doses of the vaccine may help ward against Omicron.
Alex Sigal, a professor at the Africa Health Research Institute, said a “major reduction" in the Omicron variant’s neutralisation ability compared to a previous strain of COVID-19.
According to a document posted on his lab’s website, the lab analysed blood from 12 individuals who had received two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The paper contains preliminary data that have not been peer-reviewed.
The publication stated that blood from five out of six patients who had been vaccinated and had previously been infected with COVID-19 still neutralised the Omicron variant.
“These results are better than I expected. The more antibodies you got, the more chance you’ll be protected from Omicron," Sigal said.
“There is a probability that you will be safeguarded from Omicron," Sigal said.
Source - Newsdir3
He said that the lab had not tested the variant against blood from individuals who had received a booster dose due to the fact that they are not yet accessible in South Africa.
According to the article, the team detected a 41-fold decrease in neutralising antibodies against the Omicron variant.
Sigal indicated the amount is likely to change when his lab conducts more studies.
While neutralising antibodies are a good sign of the body’s immunological response, scientists think that vaccinations also activate other types of cells such as B-cells and T-cells, which help defend against the coronavirus’s affects.
The preliminary data does not indicate that the vaccine is less able to prevent severe illness or death. While lab tests are underway, BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said last week, “we think it’s likely that people will have substantial protection against severe disease caused by Omicron.“
According to early evidence, vaccination is not less effective at preventing severe disease or death. While laboratory testing is ongoing, BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said last week.
The Omicron variant, identified in southern Africa last month, has sparked worldwide fears of another surge, with cases reported in more than a dozen nations ranging from Japan to the United States.
The World Health Organization categorised it as a “variant of concern" on Nov. 26 but found no evidence to justify the necessity for new vaccines targeted specifically at the Omicron variation’s many mutations.
There is insufficient evidence on how Moderna (MRNA.O), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N), and other pharmaceutical companies’ vaccinations respond against the new variant. The data from all firms, including Pfizer and BioNTech, is anticipated to be released within weeks.
BioNTech’s Sahin told NBC News on Tuesday that the company would release data on the new variation on Wednesday or Thursday.
Dr Anthony Fauci, a leading infectious disease researcher in the United States, said Tuesday that early data shows that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is more transmissible but less severe.
He said that the US is conducting studies to establish the efficacy of existing vaccinations against the variation and expects findings next week.
Umer Raffat, an analyst at Evercore ISI, warned against reading too much into a single trial, adding that measuring decreases in antibody levels has shown substantial variability in past lab experiments.
“Let’s wait for additional studies to draw a mosaic," he said.
Source – Reuters