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Three Shots Of Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Is Able To Neutralize The Omicron Variant


Three Shots Of Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Is Able To Neutralize The Omicron Variant
A three-shot course of their Covid-19 vaccine was able to neutralise the new Omicron variation in a laboratory test, BioNTech and Pfizer have said.
The companies said that this indicates that booster shots may be necessary for protection against infection from the newly found version.
Two doses of the vaccine, according to the German and American pharma companies, resulted in much reduced neutralising antibodies, but might still protect against severe illness.
"The first line of defence, with two doses of vaccination, might be compromised and three doses of vaccination are required to restore protection," BioNTech Chief Medical Officer Ozlem Tuereci said at a press conference.
If necessary, the firms also stated that an improved vaccination targeting the Omicron type may be delivered in March 2022.
BioNTech and Pfizer are the first Covid-19 vaccine makers to provide an official update on their vaccine's effectiveness against Omicron.
The Omicron version was neutralised nearly as well as two doses neutralised the original virus found in China in blood samples obtained about a month after the third shot.
The Omicron variety, which was initially discovered in southern Africa and Hong Kong last month, has sparked global concern about another outbreak. Cases have already been documented in the United States and throughout Europe.
"The new data from Pfizer on vaccine effectiveness against Omicron is encouraging," U.S. President Joe Biden tweeted on Wednesday. "Anyone who is eligible and has not been boosted should go get a booster today."
To counter the new strain, BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin proposed that governments explore decreasing the time between the second and third doses of the vaccine.
He mentioned recent attempts by countries such as the United Kingdom to shift the third shot forward from six months to three months after the second.
"We believe this is the right way to go particularly if the Omicron is now spreading further, to enable a better level of protection in the winter season," Sahin said.
Dr. Walter Orenstein, a Vanderbilt University professor and former head of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's vaccination programmes, said the findings were encouraging since they show that existing immunizations are still effective against the Omicron.
"We may not have to change the vaccine," he said. "We may be able to get by with the current vaccine, at least for repression of severe disease."
On Nov. 26, the World Health Organization designated Omicron as a "variant of concern," but stated that there was no evidence to justify the necessity for new immunizations targeted particularly at the variation and its mutations. find out more
Despite this, the firms announced they will keep working to develop an Omicron-specific Covid-19 vaccine. Work began on November 25.
They stated that if an adapted vaccination was necessary, their projected manufacture of 4 billion doses of the Comirnaty vaccine in 2022 would not be affected. Even if an adapted vaccination were available in March, BioNTech stated that it would not be widely available for some time, estimating that just 25 to 75 million doses of the new vaccine would be available at first.