There are early indications from Israel that the fourth dose of both the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna coronavirus vaccines can improve antibodies. Still, it may not be enough to prevent breakthrough infections caused by the Omicron variant of the virus, according to CNN.
Boosters Improve Antibodies But Not Enough For Omicron
Researchers are scrambling to figure out how vaccines will fare against this new coronavirus variant as Omicron spreads rapidly across the globe. According to preliminary findings released by an Israeli hospital on Tuesday, a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine offers only limited protection against the Omicron variant currently sweeping the globe.
At Sheba Hospital last month, 154 of its medical staff received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and another 120 of them received the Moderna vaccine. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had initially been administered to all of them three times. Following last year’s third immunization, both groups in the clinical trial demonstrated an increase in antibodies. However, Omicron’s transmission was not slowed by the increased antibodies, as per Associated Press.
Studied Extensively In Israel
According to Reuters, COVID-19 vaccines have been studied extensively in Israel. The country was the first to roll out two-dose immunizations to a significant population a year ago and the first one to implement third shots as boosters. Now it is prescribing fourth doses to people over 60, health workers, and immunocompromised individuals.
On Monday, Sheba Medical Center’s director of infection prevention and control, Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, held a virtual news conference to discuss the findings. “The level of antibodies needed to protect against Omicron infection… is probably too high for the vaccine, even if it’s a good vaccine,” according to Dr. Regev-Yochay. However, she did say that compared to the control group, those who received the vaccine had fewer infections.
Read Related Article: Will The 30 Million Americans Receive $300 This Month? Here’s What You Should Know