Pfizer Says 3 Doses Of Its COVID Vaccine Protects Against Omicron Variant


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Pfizer said that preliminary lab results show that two doses of its COVID-19 vaccine may not be enough to provide protection against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The company said that those who received both doses had a 25-fold reduction in serum antibodies against the Omicron variant but noted that the vaccine still provides protection against severe infections from the new strain of the virus.

However, a third dose of the vaccine does appear to provide protection against Omicron. Pfizer explained that those who received a booster shot saw a 25-fold increase in neutralizing antibodies against the variant.

Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said the data highlights the importance for everybody to get a booster shot.

"Although two doses of the vaccine may still offer protection against severe disease caused by the Omicron strain, it's clear from these preliminary data that protection is improved with a third dose of our vaccine," Bourla said in a statement. "Ensuring as many people as possible are fully vaccinated with the first two-dose series, and a booster remains the best course of action to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

Pfizer said it is also working on an Omicron-specific vaccine and expects to have it ready to distribute in March, pending regulatory approval. The drugmaker said that creating the specialized vaccine will not impact its goal to produce four billion vaccine doses.

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