New data offers a massive clue as to how long the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot stops omicron variant symptoms.

The news: Researchers with the U.K. Health Security Agency reported new data last Friday about how long the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot can stop the omicron variant.

  • The risk of COVID-19 infection drops to 70% about two weeks after the third shot of the Pfizer vaccine.
  • Three months later, the risk of symptomatic COVID-19 is about 50%, according to the data.
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Yes, but: A separate research analysis found that protection will decline to 40% about four months after the COVID-19 booster shot.

Quote: “The vaccine’s efficacy against infection relies on our level of antibodies because they are really our first line of defense against SARS-CoV-2,” said immunologist Jennifer Gommerman at the University of Toronto, according to NPR.

  • “Keep in mind, too, that omicron is very different than the original version of SARS-CoV-2, which is what we’ve been immunized against,” Gommerman said. “And so our protection takes a bit of a hit in terms of how well those antibodies can recognize omicron.”
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Fourth shot: Earlier this week, I reported for the Deseret News that a preliminary study from Israel found that the fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot — yes, the fourth shot — might not stop COVID-19 infection.

  • The fourth vaccination shot created antibodies that were “probably not enough for the omicron,” said Gili Regev-Yochay, director of Sheba Medical Center’s Infectious Diseases Unit, according to The Hill.
  • “We know by now that the level of antibodies needed to protect and not to got infected from omicron is probably too high for the vaccine, even if it’s a good vaccine,” she added.
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