As the UK government offers booster jabs to all adults from Moderna and Pfizer, we speak to Doctor Reena Virdi to see how efficient the Covid booster jab is on the new Omicron covid variant
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What we know about the new Omicron Covid variant is that it’s said to have over 30 spike protein mutations, be very transmissible but have only mild symptoms. But lots remains unknown.
One of the major questions raised has been about the efficacy of vaccines against the Omicron, especially as the government has begun to encourage anyone aged 18 and over to get booked in for their booster jabs as soon as possible.
Both Moderna and Pfizer are being offered as boosters, but Dr Reena Virdi, a Southampton-based GP, explained: “Scientists are working on analysing it better, but the evidence is currently very inconclusive.
“So, the information that we have is causing a lot of speculation.”
Here’s everything you need to know when it comes to Covid booster jabs and the new Omicron variant.
Does the Covid booster jab work on the Omicron variant?
An official from the World Health Organisation ( WHO) previously confirmed that there is no evidence to suggest the efficacy of vaccines has been reduced by the new strain.
Dr Virdi clarified that though the boosters cannot prevent you from getting Omicron, it can reduce the severity of the infection, much like it did for previous variants.
She added that though the Omicron variant is more transmissible it is “not thought to be as dangerous because of the vaccines that we have already received.”
Has the booster vaccine been proven to work on the new Omicron variant yet?
There isn’t much information on whether the vaccines have proven to work against Omicron, but Dr Virdi assured that Moderna and Pfizer who are offering the boosters have both reassured that they are still effective.
But she warned that because Omicron – which is showing traits of previous variants as well as new traits that have been seen before- is very transmissible, medical professionals are predicting “a very big wave.”
She said: “We just don’t know how bad that will be and how much we will manage to contain it, at the moment.
“The government is trying to impose some restrictions to try and contain the virus and slow down the spread.
“We are being directed by health authorities and, at the moment, all that we have been told is that it is recommended for people to get their booster vaccine as soon as they are able to as this is supposed to reduce the severity of the infection,” adding that they “have no other further information.”