Israeli researchers said Monday that preliminary data show that another booster shot of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines “probably” will not create enough antibodies to prevent infection from the omicron variant.
Gili Regev-Yochay, an infectious disease expert at Sheba Medical Center, said the fourth plug increases the antibodies “slightly higher than what we had after the third dose,” but the increase is probably not enough to prevent omicron, which is considered more transferable than previous variants, It reported Reuters.
Pfizer and Moderna did not immediately respond to Fox News emails after business hours.
The United States has urged all ages 12 and older to take a booster shot when eligible. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said earlier this month that the booster dose “will provide optimized protection against COVID-19 and the omicron variant.”
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U.S. data earlier this month showed that symptomatic COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are between seven and 11 times higher in unvaccinated adolescents than vaccinated, according to the Associated Press.
Israel will still allow its citizens to take the fourth jab despite the preliminary investigation, Reuters reported.
Nachman Ash, director general of the Ministry of Health, told Army Radio that the country believes that “protection against serious morbidity, especially for the elderly and vulnerable population, is still provided by this vaccine (dose) and therefore I urge people to stay keep coming to get vaccinated. “
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The Times of Israel reported that the hospital where the study was conducted called on the country to continue “vaccination efforts for at-risk groups at present, even though the vaccine does not provide optimal protection against becoming infected with the variant.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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