Pfizer vaccine may be up to 40 times less effective against Omicron, first lab tests in South Africa suggest

The Pfizer vaccine may be up to 40 times less effective against Omicron than the original COVID strain, the first lab tests on the new variant in South Africa have shown.
But while its ability to escape vaccine antibodies is significant, it’s not complete, and that’s good news, says Professor Alex Sigal, virologist at the Africa Health Research Institute, who led the research.

The study found antibodies from people who had been vaccinated as well as naturally infected with COVID were significantly more effective against Omicron – suggesting boosters may bring a significant benefit.
Its ability to escape the vaccine was between five and 10 times better than the Beta, (informally named South African) strain, which previously had the best ability to evade the jab.
Professor Sigal, who heads up the team conducting the tests, believes it’s likely Omicron has both an immune escape and a transmission advantage over other variants.

Advertisement

The study is very limited, having looked at blood samples from just 12 people, but it’s the first evidence we have about how effective vaccinations could be against the new variant.

Source : Sky News