The world was brought to a stand-still by the pandemic of COVID-19. And just as everyone was recovering from it, its new variant, the Omicron virus is been in the game. Researchers around the world have been working hard at it, to stop the world from yet another pandemic.
Coming in as good news, the Israeli researchers on Saturday said that they have found a three-shot course of the Pfizer/BioNTech (PFE.N) COVID-19 vaccine, which could provide significant protection against the new Omicron variant.
A study that was carried out by the Sheba Medical Center Health Ministry’s Central Virology Laboratory compared the blood samples of 20 people who had received two vaccine doses 5-6 months prior to the same number of people who had received a booster shot a month earlier.
“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),” said Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the Infectious Diseases Unit at Sheba.
Say Three for Immunity – Against Omicron Variant
The bright side is that this three-shot course will increase the immunity a hundred folds which gives significant protection.
While other companies used the pseudovirus, which was bio-engineered to have the hallmark mutations of the Omicron variant, to check their results, the Israeli team worked with the actual virus, which has brought in more authentic results.
The Omicron variant counts to more than 30 mutations on the spike protein. The research claims that two doses of vaccine will offer a higher level of protection, but the third jab will more likely increase the efficacy by 25 percent.
This study by the Israeli researchers, Pfizer, and the team of South African scientists, where the Omicron variant was first detected have suggested that a total of three doses will be required so as to produce an effective immune response against the Omicron variant.
Pfizer and BioNTech both are now working towards a very Omicron-specific vaccine which should be out for use by March 2022, if the variant spreads all around like the COVID. The researchers started their study shortly after the first case was detected on Nov 25.