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Does the COVID-19 booster shot stop omicron? Here’s what a new study says

The first estimate of the booster shot’s impact on the omicron variant is here

A doctor’s assistant prepares a Comirnaty vaccine from Pfizer against COVID-19.
A doctor’s assistant prepares a syringe with the Comirnaty vaccine from Pfizer against COVID-19 at the pediatric vaccination center in Munich, Germany on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. A new model in the U.K. suggests that the COVID-19 booster shot could provide about 85% more protection against severe COVID-19 symptoms.
Lennart Preiss, dpa via AP

A new model from United Kingdom researchers suggests that the COVID-19 booster shot could provide about 85% more protection against severe COVID-19 symptoms.

To find this, a team at Imperial College London created a new model that used limited information about the omicron variant, according to BBC News.

  • There’s still some uncertainty about the omicron variant since scientists are waiting for more real-world data.

Researchers at Imperial College London found that with a slight drop in vaccine efficacy, the booster likely has 80% to 85.9% effectiveness at stopping severe COVID-19 symptoms. The same model suggested the booster had 97% effectiveness against the delta variant.

  • “One remaining uncertainty is how severe the disease caused by the omicron variant is compared to disease caused by previous variants, said Azra Ghani, a professor and researcher at Imperial College. “Whilst it may take several weeks to fully understand this, governments will need to put in place plans now to mitigate any potential impact. Our results demonstrate the importance of delivering booster doses as part of the wider public health response.”

Per The Washington Post, a new lab study found the omicron variant can evade all of the COVID-19 vaccines. However, when it does, it will only create mild COVID-19 symptoms among patients.

  • That said, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House medical adviser on the coronavirus, said vaccinations and booster shots are the key to protecting yourself from the omicron variant, according to CNBC.
  • “And so the message remains clear. If you are unvaccinated get vaccinated, and particularly in the arena of omicron if you are fully vaccinated, get your booster shot,” Fauci said.