Booster shots neutralize Omicron - Israeli study

Three shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine provide significant protection against the new Omicron variant.

That’s according to a study by Israeli researchers.

The findings were similar to those presented by Pfizer and BioNTech earlier this week which showed a three-shot course of their vaccine was able to neutralise the new variant in a laboratory test.

The Israeli study was carried out by the Sheba Medical Center and the Health Ministry's Central Virology Laboratory.

It compared the blood of 20 people who had received two vaccine doses 5-6 months earlier to the same number of individuals who had received a booster a month before.

Those who did not receive the booster shots, had no neutralization ability against Omicron. Researchers said the booster increased this about a hundred fold.

The Israeli research follows a study from South Africa that found the Omicron variant can partially evade protection from two doses.

South Africa alerted the world to Omicron late last month, prompting alarm that the highly mutated variant could trigger a new surge in global infections.

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