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Israeli study shows Pfizer COVID-19 booster helps protect against Omicron

Israeli study shows Pfizer COVID-19 booster helps protect against Omicron. 

Israeli researchers reported on Saturday they discovered that a three-shot sequence of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine effectively protected against the latest Omicron variant.

The results were similar to the findings presented by BioNTech and Pfizer earlier during the week. They first indicated that booster shots might be essential to prevent infection caused by the newly identified variant.

The study, conducted through Sheba Medical Center and the Health Ministry’s Central Virology Laboratory, compared the blood samples of 20 individuals who had received two vaccination doses 5-6 months before to the same number of people who received boosters within a month prior.

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“People who received the second dose 5 or 6 months ago do not have any neutralization ability against the Omicron. While they do have some against the Delta (strain),” Gili Regev-Yochay, who is the Director of Sheba’s Infectious Diseases Unit at Sheba, said to reporters.

“The good news is that with the booster dose, it increases about a hundredfold. So there is significant protection of the booster dose. On the other hand, it is lower than the neutralization ability against the Delta, about four times lower,” she explained.

The Israeli team claimed to have been working with the actual virus, while companies utilized what’s commonly referred to as a pseudovirus that was genetically engineered to possess the signature Omicron mutations. 

The Israeli study follows a survey conducted in South Africa that found that the Omicron variant could partially block the defense from two doses.

 

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