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Omicron variant can infect fully vaccinated, Oxford study claims

Two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines are significantly less effective at preventing omicron compared to previous variants of the coronavirus, scientists have found.

Researchers do remain optimistic that a booster shot would improve immunity against the new, highly transmissible variant. In a new study announced on Monday, researchers from the University of Oxford tested blood samples of people 28 days after their second dose of either vaccine.

The study examined the response of the body’s antibodies to the Omicron variant 28 days after receiving a final dose of a COVID vaccine. The study found there was a “substantial fall” in the neutralizing antibodies that resisted COVID-19 compared to the immune responses seen against earlier variants.

Recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines were examined in the study. The study found that a booster shot of a COVID vaccine increased the body’s resistance against the virus by up to 75%.

Dr. Gavin Screaton, head of the university’s Medical Sciences Division and lead author of the paper, noted that the results should be encouraging for those considering getting inoculated with a booster.

“Whilst there is no evidence for increased risk of severe disease, or death, from the virus amongst vaccinated populations, we must remain cautious, as greater case numbers will still place a considerable burden on healthcare systems,” said Screaton in a statement announcing the study.

President Joe Biden has encouraged more Americans to seek either their first dose of a COVID vaccine or a booster for those who are fully vaccinated.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: BOSTON GLOBE

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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