BioNTech should protect from severe COVID-19 from omicron variant

BioNTech and Pfizer's established COVID-19 vaccine will likely offer strong protection against any severe disease from the new omicron virus variant, BioNTech's Chief Executive Uğur Şahin told Reuters, even as the biotech firm protectively makes a bolt for an adapted version of the shot, Reuters reports.

Lab tests are currently underway over the next two weeks analyzing the blood of people who had two or three doses of BioNTech's Comirnaty vaccine to see if antibodies found in that blood inactivate omicron.

Şahin told Reuters he expects results to show some loss of vaccine protection against mild and moderate disease due to omicron but the extent of that loss was hard to predict.

BioNTech on Monday said it had started work on a version of its established COVID-19 shot that is tailored to omicron, though it was not yet clear if it was necessary.

Şahin’s words came on the same day Israel announced omicron variant has been detected in two fully-vaccinated doctors Israeli doctors.

The two doctors had received three doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, and so far have shown mild COVID-19 symptoms, the hospital said.

The physician who had returned from Britain had probably infected his colleague, officials said.


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