Pfizer vaccine protection is lower for omicron variant, preliminary study finds



Agencies | Drafting

The first results of a study with 12 people in South Africa, which are not yet definitive, suggest that the protection does not disappear completely since vaccinated people “retain considerable immunity.”

The protection of the pfizer vaccine is reduced to the omicron variantIt doesn’t go away entirely, though, according to preliminary results from a small study based on blood samples from just 12 people in South Africa. In any case, both previously infected and vaccinated people would be better protected.

The study carried out by the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) has yet to undergo peer review by the rest of the scientific community.

“Laboratory research from South Africa strongly suggests that the omicron variant of SARS-COV-2 escapes Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine-induced antibody immunity (Comirnaty), but that people who were both vaccinated and previously infected retain considerable immunity“, explained the research center.

As the AHRI executive director added, Willem HanekomAlthough the most likely conclusion is that existing formulas offer less protection against omicron, “vaccinologists agree that current vaccines still protect against severe disease and death.”

While these data cannot be directly equated in terms of vaccine efficacy, the observed drop in antibody protection is 41 times greater for the omicron variant than for the parent coronavirus.

One of the study authors, the researcher Alex Sigal, has subsequently specified through social networks that the study data are “better” than initially expected for omicron, in view of its multiple mutations.

“Based on the genome, I thought it would be worse. It seems to be mostly a question of quantity: the more antibodies, the better,” Sigal wrote on Twitter.

Pharmaceutical company investigations

For his part, CEO Pfizer, Albert Bourla, has pointed out that the symptoms caused by the coronavirus omicron seem milder, but has warned that the variant is transmitted faster.

Bourla explained that his company is investigating the protection of its vaccines against this variant and that he hopes to have more information in the coming weeks.

Follow the recommendationss in the face of coronavirus from the health authorities. If you live in the CAV and have symptoms, call your usual health center. The Health Council will also attend to people on the phone 900 20 30 50, offering information and solving doubts about the coronavirus. If you live in Navarra, call the Health Council telephone number: 948 290 290. Remember that the most effective way to prevent the spread of covid-19 is to use a mask, ventilate the spaces, keep a safe distance and wash your hands.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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