While the infectious nature of the Omicron variant has been widely recognised, it remains relatively unclear how our current vaccines will fare against the new strain.
On Wednesday (8 Dec), Pfizer and BioNTech issued a statement claiming that 3 doses of its Covid-19 vaccine effectively prevent the virus from replicating.
As such, the companies urged individuals to get their 3rd shot to ensure they are better protected against the Omicron variant.
In a statement on Wednesday (8 Dec), the 2 companies said that a 3-shot course of their Covid-19 vaccine was able to neutralise the new Omicron variant based on laboratory test results.
This essentially means that the vaccine can slow down the virus’ replication process by preventing attachment to the host cell.
While 2 shots of their vaccines provided recipients with “significantly lower neutralising antibodies”, a 3rd follow-up shot increased the amount of neutralising antibodies by 25 times.
After about a month of receiving their 3rd vaccine shots, individuals were reportedly able to neutralise the Omicron variant as effectively as those with 2 doses against the OG variant first detected in China in 2019.
As such, Pfizer CEO Albert Buorla urged everyone to get 3 doses of the vaccine, claiming that it’s the “best course of action to prevent the spread of Covid-19”.
BioNTech chief Ugur Sahin also urged governments to consider shortening the period between the 2nd and 3rd doses.
This will reportedly give individuals better protection over winter and is the “right way to go”, especially if the Omicron variant is spreading aggressively.
The UK had recently shortened the interval between the doses from 6 to 3 months.
As the world is on high alert against the infectious nature of the Omicron variant, we’re glad to learn that our current vaccines are still effective against the new strain.
We hope eligible residents of Singapore will get their booster jabs ASAP for protection.
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Featured image adapted from The Focal Project on Flickr.
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