Study Suggests Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Only Partially Protects Against Omicron – Community News
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Study Suggests Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Only Partially Protects Against Omicron

Vials containing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are pictured at a vaccination center in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb. 3, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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Dec. 7 (Reuters) – The Omicron variant of the coronavirus may partially evade the protection of Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and partner BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, said the head of research at a laboratory at the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa. Africa Tuesday.

Alex Sigal, a professor at the Africa Health Research Institute, said on Twitter that there was “a very large drop” in the neutralization of the Omicron variant over a previous strain of COVID. The lab tested blood from 12 people vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, according to a manuscript posted on its lab’s website. The preliminary data in the manuscript has not yet been peer-reviewed.

Blood from five of the six people who had been vaccinated and previously infected with COVID-19 still neutralized the Omicron variant, the manuscript said.

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According to the manuscript, they saw a 41-fold decrease in neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant.

Sigal said on Twitter that the figure will likely be adjusted after his lab does more experiments.

The Omicron variant, first discovered last month in southern Africa, has raised alarms worldwide over a new wave of infections, with more than two dozen countries from Japan to the United States reporting cases.

The World Health Organization classified it as a “variant of concern” on Nov. 26, but said there was no evidence to support the need for new vaccines specifically designed to address the Omicron variant with its many mutations. read more

Sigal did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment.

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Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru and Michael Erman; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Lisa Shumaker

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.