Fourth mRNA booster does not fully protect against omicron

The mRNA vaccine booster shots from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna are partially effective in defending against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. They are safe and produce substantial antibodies, according to the preliminary results of research conducted by Sheba Medical Center in Israel.

The trial showed that one week after people received the booster shot from Moderna, following three doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, the rise in antibody levels was similar to those who received the fourth Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot following three doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The study also revealed that two weeks after receiving the fourth Pfizer-BioNTech dose, antibody levels continued to rise slightly after the first week.

“The rise in antibody levels that we saw with both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are slightly higher than what we saw after the third booster shot. However, as we have seen in our ongoing serological studies and the rising numbers of those who are infected with Omicron, the fourth vaccine only offers a partial defense against the virus, despite increased antibody levels. Both vaccines, which were more effective against previous variants, offer less protection against the Omicron variant,” said Prof. Gili Regev-Yochay, Director of the Infectious Disease and Leader of the research.

The study was conducted to analyze the efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines and compare the results of antibody levels and their ability to defend against the Omicron variant. 154 medical personnel from Sheba Medical Center were recruited for the fourth Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and an additional 120 volunteered for the Moderna jab.

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