Pfizer booster jab DOES protect against Omicron variant, says vaccine boss

HAVING a Pfizer booster jab will protect against the Omicron variant, new data has shown today.

The promising findings of initial lab studies come as the Government urges all Brits to get their boosters when they're eligible.


The Sun's Jab's Army has called upon all Brits to come forward and have their life-saving shot, with volunteers also needed to drive the rollout.

Amid fears the jabs wouldn't work against the Covid strain, new tests have found two vaccines still work to prevent serious illness.

But getting a booster shot, or a third dose, is what is needed to successfully beat the variant, the study found.

It comes amid fears Boris Johnson will bring in Plan B restrictions as early as tomorrow.

Concerns the new variant is more infectious has caused ministers to backtrack, with a return to working from home and vaccine passports expected to be enforced soon, sources have told The Sun.

This is because multiple mutations found in Omicron sparked concern it would spread faster and evade vaccines better.

But this new research shows Pfizer's jab is still successful at fighting off the virus.

It comes as:

  • Boosters are the best way to protect you and your loved ones – with early data showing they help beat Omicron
  • Join the Sun's Jab's Army to help get boosters in arms and fight the variant
  • The WHO says vaccines 'should' work against Omicron – with disease less severe
  • Millions of over-40s can now book in for their booster online
  • Know the signs of Omicron: Variant symptoms are different to the classic Covid trio

🔵 Read our Omicron variant live blog for the latest news

“Although two doses of the vaccine may still offer protection against severe disease caused by the Omicron strain, it’s clear from these preliminary data that protection is improved with a third dose of our vaccine,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer.

“Ensuring as many people as possible are fully vaccinated with the first two dose series and a booster remains the best course of action to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”

Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-Founder of BioNTech, said: “Our preliminary, first dataset indicate that a third dose could still offer a sufficient level of protection from disease of any severity caused by the Omicron variant.

“Broad vaccination and booster campaigns around the world could help us to better protect people everywhere and to get through the winter season.

"We continue to work on an adapted vaccine which, we believe, will help to induce a high level of protection against Omicron-induced Covid-19 disease as well as a prolonged protection compared to the current vaccine.”

People will need their first two doses plus a booster to get the same level of protection that two jabs gave them against Delta, the experts have said.

Jabs are less effective because the spike protein on the variant, which virus-fighting antibodies latch onto, has changed so antibodies don’t recognise it.

But Pfizer said a third dose increased neutralising antibodies by a factor of 25.

Blood samples taken a month after a booster showed people had levels of antibodies that were similar to amounts proven protective against earlier variants after two doses.

But they added that another part of the immune response – from T cells – were probably still effective against the variant, explaining "vaccinated individuals may still be protected against severe forms of the disease".

Their results have not been peer reviewed.

It comes as from today millions more Brits can now book their Covid booster online as ministers scramble to supercharge the nation’s immunity.

Health chiefs have cut the gap between second and third doses from six to three months.

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In a bid to speed up rollout, the NHS will allow adults to secure their booster slot a month in advance.

It means all over-40s who had their second jab earlier than October 8 can now nab a vaccine appointment on the national booking service from today.

Officials said it will gradually open up to younger Brits later in the month.

Health bosses have pledged to offer booster doses to all adults by the end of January in a bid to tackle the Omicron variant threat.

Pfizer and BioNTech said that an Omicron-specific version of the anti-coronavirus vaccine, currently in development by BioNTech, would be available by March.

Scientists have speculated that the high jump in antibodies that comes with a third dose of Covid-19 vaccines might be enough to counter any decrease in effectiveness.

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