Some good news for a change – booster shots work against Omicron. Even the CDC admits this is true!
Three new studies released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledge the effectiveness of booster shots even against the Covid-19 variant known as Omicron. In one of the studies, a CDC analysis found that a third dose of either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine was at least 90% effective against preventing hospitalization from Covid-19 during both the Delta and Omicron periods, reported The Wall Street Journal.
During the Delta period, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization from Covid-19 was 90% from two weeks until about 6 months after dose two, 81% from at least six months after dose two and 94% at least two weeks after a booster dose. When Omicron was dominant, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization for the same periods were 81%, 57%, and 90% respectively.
An additional study published in Nature also supports booster doses and backs up previous findings from Pfizer and BioNTech showing that a third dose of their vaccine neutralizes Omicron, but that its two-dose regimen is significantly less effective at blocking the virus. According to a more recent study, two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provided little neutralizing antibody immunity against Omicron infection even at one month after vaccination, but a third dose offered more than 50% protection.
In a separate study published recently by the CDC, research showed that among patients in California and New York during the Delta wave, prior infection provided more protection against Covid-19 than vaccination, though both offered significant defense from the virus. In other words, natural immunity from prior infection may be even more protective than mandated vaccines. I’ll bet the White House cringed when the CDC released that information!
The data for that study was collected before Omicron’s emergence and the widespread booster campaign, so many people were likely experiencing some waning immunity from vaccination. The CDC said the findings couldn’t be applied to the Omicron wave.
The Omicron wave appears to be losing steam already, just as it did in South Africa, where it originated in November. Hospitalization numbers are declining in the U.S., as well as in Europe, where France became the second big European economy after the U.K. to begin lifting Covid-19 restrictions. British prime minister Boris Johnson has actually lifted all masking mandates – to the widespread applause of the House of Commons!
Many hospitals in places like New York and Washington, D.C. are reporting fewer Covid-19 patients and smaller numbers of staff absent with infection. Seven-day averages in states like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are showing sharp declines from recent Omicron-fueled peaks, Johns Hopkins data show. Better get your booster shot now before it’s too late!