Two Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccines might “not be sufficient to protect against infection,” but according to preliminary studies three doses “neutralises Omicron.”
Two vaccines will still work against severe disease as the body uses a whole range of immune cells for protection, including T cells.
In a statement, Pfizer and BioNTech said that two doses may still induce protection against severe disease, although people may still get infected.
The pharmaceutical firms said the two doses “may not be sufficient to protect against infection with the Omicron variant.
“However, as the vast majority of epitopes targeted by vaccine-induced T cells are not affected by the mutations in Omicron, the companies believe that vaccinated individuals may still be protected against severe forms of the disease, and are closely monitoring real-world effectiveness against Omicron, globally.
“A more robust protection may be achieved by a third dose, as data from additional studies of the companies indicate that a booster with the current Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech increases the antibody titers by 25-fold.
“According to the companies’ preliminary data, a third dose provides a similar level of neutralising antibodies to Omicron as is observed after two doses against wild-type and other variants that emerged before Omicron.
“These antibody levels are associated with high efficacy against both the wild-type virus and these variants.”