Dec 08, 2021
By Jane Brown
Scientists with Pfizer and BioNTech say lab tests suggest that three doses of their COVID-19 vaccine offer significant protection against the new fast spreading Omicron variant.
Both companies report tests of blood from individuals who received only two doses of their COVID-19 vaccine indicate that two doses alone may not be sufficient to protect against infection by the new variant.
However, scientists revealed on Wednesday morning, that blood samples obtained from people one month after they had received a third booster shot showed neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant comparable to the levels of antibodies against a previous version of the virus after two doses.
The results seem to underscore the importance of third booster shots in combating the new variant.
“Our preliminary, first data set indicate that a third dose could still offer a sufficient level of protection from disease of any severity caused by the Omicron variant,” said Dr. Ugur Sahin, the chief executive officer of BioNTech, Pfizer’s German partner.
The findings come a day after a preliminary report on laboratory experiments in South Africa found Omicron seemed to dull the power of Pfizer’s vaccine. Those experiments also hinted that people who received a booster shot might be better protected.
(Credit: The New York Times)