Israel’s Health Minister said booster vaccinated people are protected against the Omicron variant: “There is no reason to panic.”

Vaccination in Tel Aviv (Reuters) (AMMAR AWAD /)

Israel reported the first preliminary data on the contagiousness and virulence of the Omicron variant of COVID, with a warning to unvaccinated people, as the strain appears to reduce the effectiveness of vaccines little compared to Delta, but is more dangerous for vaccines. unimmunized people.

“We have indications that boosted people are protected and there is no reason to panicNitzan Horowitz, Israel’s health minister, said Wednesday during a press conference at Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheba.

“In the coming days we will have more accurate information on the efficacy of the omicron vaccine, but there is already room for optimism, and there are initial indications that those who are vaccinated with a still valid vaccine or with a booster will also be protected from this variant”He added.

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz speaks under the watchful eye of Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (REUTERS / Amir Cohen)
Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz speaks under the watchful eye of Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (REUTERS / Amir Cohen) (AMIR COHEN /)

In Israel, the formula used is that of Pfizer / BioNTech. According to their statements, those who have been vaccinated with two doses in the last six months are protected, while those who have received the guideline six months ago should have already received a third booster dose to also consider themselves immunized against Ómicron .

Although the official did not present details on the degree of protection, shortly after the conference the chain Channel 12 public a preliminary report in which he argued that Ómicron is 30% more contagious than Delta, much less than initially speculated.

In addition, the data indicate that Pfizer’s vaccine is 90% effective in preventing a symptomatic infection of the new variant, just below the figures for the current predominant strain.

(Reuters) (AMIR COHEN /)

Other data from the report published by Channel 12 the thing is the risk for the unvaccinated of suffering a severe COVID picture is multiplied by 2.4 compared to the original strain of virus.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Health indicated that this report is not in the hands of the health ministry.

On Tuesday, BioNTech CEO and founder Ugur Sahin said that vaccines protect against the Omicron variant and called on the population “not to freak out” at alarmist posts. The expert indicated that it is possible that the new strain detected generates more infections, but considered that immunization would prevent serious cases.

Sahin’s perspective is more optimistic than that offered by Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel, who indicated that there will be a “significant drop” in the effectiveness of current vaccines, but instead highlighted the adaptability of the messenger RNA platform to develop a new large-scale vaccine in a matter of a few months.

The contagious and dangerous of Ómicron is still being investigated and the results would be ready in two weeks.


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