Booster vaccines against covid-19 can help improve protection against omicron and there is no need for a specific dose for that variant of the coronavirus. That was the explanation of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during a virtual briefing this Wednesday at the White House.
“At this point, there is no need for a variant-specific booster,” said Fauci, also chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden. “The message remains clear,” Fauci continued. “If you haven’t been vaccinated, do so. And, especially as regards omicron, if you are fully vaccinated, find your booster dose.”
Fauci also mentioned that “there have been several studies throughout the country and the world to see how we could prepare in the context of vaccines.”
In that sense, he said that the effectiveness of the Pfizer / BioNTech coronavirus vaccine against symptomatic omicron infection is significantly lower than against the delta variant. But, he clarifies, with a booster dose, it increases to 75% effectiveness.
“The omicron variant undoubtedly compromises the antibody effects induced by a two-dose mRNA vaccine and reduces protection overall. However, considerable protection against severe disease is still maintained,” he explained.
“The first in vitro and clinical studies I mentioned indicate that boosters reconstitute antibodies and improve the protection of the omicron vaccine,” Fauci insisted. “Our booster vaccine regimens work against omicron,” he said.