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Booster works against Omicron - Pfizer/BioNTech

A three-shot course of Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine does work against the new Omicron variant.

That's according to both drugmakers Wednesday (December 8), citing a lab test.

The results suggest the variant can partially evade protection from two doses of the vaccine, but a third jab helped fight off the virus much better.

That was in line with findings from the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa.

Willem Hanekom is Executive Director there:

"Omicron may escape some of the immunity that the Pfizer vaccine causes - that's the main finding. At the moment, we need to learn much more about what the implications of that finding is, and whether this will hold true in terms of protection of people after Pfizer vaccination. We still believe that the vaccine will protect against severe disease and death."

A lab analysis in Germany found a much lower antibody response to Omicron even after three shots.

But Pfizer and BioNTech were optimistic that their shot could still protect against any severe disease from the new variant.

The pair also said they could deliver an Omicron-based shot in March next year if needed.

The companies are still expected to deliver 4 billion doses of their vaccine in 2022.

In late November the World Health Organization classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern', but it hasn't yet called for a new treatment to be developed.

Data on how shots from Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and other drugmakers fare against Omicron is expected within weeks.

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