Pfizer vaccine was “very hard” by omicron, but boosters helped

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In terms of evading vaccine protection, the new variant seems to be better than any other version of the virus encountered so far. “Omicron is a more powerful escape variant,” Şahin said.

The good news is that among those who received the third dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the results were much better. In that case, the ability of the vaccine to block the coronavirus was basically restored.

The laboratory findings will mean that the government will rush to provide booster doses.In the U.S., all people over 18 are eligible for booster shots Since November 19, But in other countries, vaccine supply is still limited.

If omicron spreads widely, the government and companies will also have to decide whether to update Messenger RNA vaccine Just like Pfizer is targeting variants. The working principle of this vaccine is to shuttle a copy of the virus “spike” gene into human cells, thereby generating an immune response.

Because the spikes of omicron are so different, with more than 30 mutations, a new vaccine with a specific genetic code will fight it better.

BioNTech stated that it has designed an omicron vaccine and may transfer its entire manufacturing process to other locations before March. “The only thing that has changed is the blueprint for the new variant,” Şahin said. “We will start producing it, and then decide whether to switch.”

However, so far, it is not clear whether a new vaccine is needed or what kind of damage omicron can cause.

Even with two doses of vaccine, it is still possible to prevent the variant from causing death. This is because vaccines not only generate immunity through antibodies, but also through long-lived memory cells (including T cells). In most cases, the Omicron mutation does not belong to the area targeted by the T cells studied by BioNTech.

Therefore, Şahin said, two doses of Pfizer can still prevent serious illness, although it will take a month or two of data to be sure.

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