Those who have recently had their third shot are significantly more protected, but their neutralizing ability is about four times lower.
By World Israel News staff
People who received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 more than five months ago have very little protection against the new Omicron variant according to Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit at Sheba Medical Center, Israeli media reported.
In a study conducted by the hospital, it was found that those who have received the second dose between five and six months ago have “almost no neutralizing ability” against the new Omicron variant, despite having some against the Delta, and “much more” against the original variant, Dr. Regev-Yochay said in a Saturday press conference.
Meanwhile, those who have recently had their third shot are significantly more protected, but their neutralizing ability is about four times lower. Dr. Regev-Yochay still described this as “optimistic.”
“We still don’t know whether this will decrease with time, and we’ll have to check that,” she said.
The study did not evaluate how protected people are who have only received their first two shots within the last five months.
Researchers conducting the study looked at blood samples taken from 40 medical staff, 20 of whom had received only two shots more than five months ago and 20 who had recently received their booster.
The team then “Compared the ability to neutralize the Omicron from these sets of bloods,” said Regev-Yochay.
The research is expected to be published soon in the New England Journal of Medicine after peer review.