Pfizer claims booster can protect against omicron

Drugmaker Pfizer tested blood samples taken from patients a month after they received a COVID-19 booster shot and measured levels of antibodies that could fight the latest variant of the coronavirus.

Lab tests showed that two doses may not be strong enough to prevent infection with the omicron variant, but a booster increased antibodies 25-fold. Pfizer found the level of protection after a booster was similar to the protection that two doses of its vaccine provides against earlier variants.

Fully vaccinated people who have not yet had a booster still had strong protection against severe illness, the company said.

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How serious is omicron? Scientists don’t yet know exactly how infectious or dangerous the omicron variant is. Right now, the delta variant accounts for almost all new COVID-19 infections in the U.S. and remains the dominant strain worldwide.

Nineteen states had detected the presence of omicron as of Wednesday, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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