Can Fully Vaccinate People Also Get Omicron Infection?
Scientists and researchers are still rummaging to figure out the reason behind the lightning-quick spread of this new Covid-19 mutation. However, in a world where vaccinations built up immunity and other variants of Covid-19 had difficulty gaining a foothold, Omicron is thriving. And, as of now, no one is immune to Omicron, even the fully vaccinated citizens.
“This is a game-changing variant, especially in the vaccinated population where people have had a level of invincibility,” says Sumit Chanda, professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Scripps Research.
To answer the question, yes, even fully vaccinated people can get infected with Omicron. However, the good news is that experts say that this new variant is milder than the rest, and with a booster shot, can avert it completely, which brings us to the next question
Is a Booster Dose Effective to Prevent Omicron Infection?
“3 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is what you need to neutralize the Omicron variant,” says Pfizer. Further, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology company suggests, “the data indicate that the third dose of BNT162b2 increases the amount of neutralizing antibody titer by 25X as compared to two doses.”
To confirm the efficacy and results of the initial laboratory study, Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, mentioned in a press release that “Although two doses of the vaccine may still offer protection against the Omicron strain, it’s clear that protection is improved with the third dose of our vaccine.” He further added, “A booster shot remains the best course of action to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”
Which implies what? You may need a booster dose for more robust protection against the Omicron variant.
Will the Existing Vaccine Work Against Omicron?
According to WHO (World Health Organization), current vaccines remain effective against severe diseases and death. However, this doesn’t mean that one cannot get infected with Omicron. WHO is working rigorously with technical partners to comprehend the potential impact of this variant. Till then, vaccines and booster shots remain the ideal course of action to protect against Omicron.
Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-Founder of BioNTech, said, “The first dataset indicates that a third dose could offer a sufficient level of protection from any disease of any severity caused by the Omicron variant.” So as of now, it’s safe to say that existing vaccines are effective against Omicron. And the recent data published by the vaccination manufacturers provide an even stronger reason to get a booster shot if you are eligible.