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Omicron variant infections: What happens to double vaccinated people?

Fully vaccinated people might be more vulnerable to the omicron COVID-19 variant

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An ampule of the vaccine Comirnaty for children from the manufacturer Biontech/Pfizer.

An ampule of the vaccine Comirnaty for children from the manufacturer Biontech/Pfizer is pictured in a pharmacy in Duesseldorf, Germany, on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. The omicron variant of the novel coronavirus can hit the double vaccinated, raising questions about what might happen in next in the pandemic.

Marius Becker, dpa via AP

The omicron variant of the novel coronavirus can hit the double vaccinated, raising questions about what might happen next in the pandemic.

A new study from researchers at the University of Oxford found that two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were less effective at stopping the omicron variant compared to previous variants.

The study collected blood samples from people for 28 days after their second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

  • When the scientists added the omicron variant into those symptoms, there was “a substantial fall” in the antibodies that fight off COVID-19.

The study has not been peer-reviewed. It is available on the medRxiv server.

Gavin Screaton, head of Oxford University’s Medical Sciences Division and lead author of the paper, said in a statement that the study should be evidence that booster shots are needed, according to CNBC.

  • “Whilst there is no evidence for increased risk of severe disease, or death, from the virus amongst vaccinated populations, we must remain cautious, as greater case numbers will still place a considerable burden on health care systems,” he said, per CNBC.

Last week, Pfizer said that the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot may offer added protection against the new omicron variant, according to The Associated Press.

  • “Go and get your third boost as soon as possible,” Dr. Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, told The Associated Press. “This is comforting and a very positive message that we now have a plan that will induce immunity that is likely to protect from infection, symptomatic illness and severe disease from now across the entire winter season.”