A study from Israel found that even three doses of Pfizer’s Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine do not provide enough protection against the post-vaccine omicron variant. In fact, the vaccine provides four times less protection against omicron than against the delta variant.
The study was conducted by Israeli scientists from the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv and the Israeli Ministry of Health’s Central Virology Lab. The researchers used data exclusively available to the Sheba Medical Center as part of a large serology study conducted among the hospital’s healthcare workers. (Related: IT NEVER ENDS: Israeli official says SEVEN shots may be needed to protect against COVID.)
The Israeli researchers took blood samples from 40 healthcare workers at Sheba who were fully vaccinated using Pfizer’s vaccine. The study wanted to look at how well their bodies were able to neutralize the post-vaccine omicron variant.
Twenty of the healthcare workers received their booster dose within the past 30 days. The other 20 only received two doses, with the last one between five to six months ago.
The study found that those who only received two doses still have some neutralization ability when going up against the original COVID-19 strain and even some ability against the post-vaccine delta variant. But they don’t have any neutralization ability against the omicron variant.
“There was no neutralization ability whatsoever, and that is very worrisome,” said Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, director of Sheba’s Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit, during a briefing. She added that the Pfizer COVID-19 might not protect the fully vaccinated against a serious case of coronavirus.
Regev-Yochay added that more studies need to be conducted to figure out if people who have received two vaccine doses more recently would also be unprotected. There also needs to be a study done to see whether the effectiveness of the booster dose will also decrease over time.
In response to the study findings, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of Public Health Services in the Health Ministry, said in an interview that the ministry will begin considering mandating three vaccine doses as soon as three months after the second, instead of the regular wait time of six months after the second dose.
“People who have received the booster are better protected than those who received only the second, and of course, more than the unvaccinated,” claimed Alroy-Preis. “Two doses are not effective enough.”
Regev-Yochay herself admitted that the vaccine’s neutralizing ability against the omicron variant is about four times lower than against the omicron variant. Despite this, she believes people should still get booster vaccines.
“It looks like with omicron there is a chance that people with the booster could get infected, but have much less chance of getting seriously infected,” said Regev-Yochay.
Alroy-Preis and Regev-Yochay’s recommendations go against scientific evidence. More and more people in Israel, including medical professionals who have received booster shots, are getting infected with the post-vaccine omicron variant.
The Health Ministry has confirmed at least 67 omicron infections in Israel and is now working to verify the status of 80 more individuals suspected of being infected with the omicron variant.
Meanwhile, a source within the ministry admitted that they do not know the main source of the current outbreak. This indicates that the post-vaccine variant may be spreading among the country’s fully vaccinated communities.
“It’s possible it has spread wider than we thought,” said the source. According to the source, between five to nine omicron cases popped up without a known source of infection. Most of these cases came from central Israel.
Unless Israel changes its policies regarding lockdowns and forced vaccinations, the country could see a surge of up to 15,000 daily new cases.
But there is no indication that Israeli authorities have learned their lesson. A media outlet in Israel recently reported that the government is working to advance legislation that would grant it the power to prevent people who aren’t fully vaccinated and have not gotten their booster doses from gaining entry into certain venues.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett himself warned of a potential lockdown if the situation in the country does not change.
Learn more about how ineffective COVID-19 vaccines truly are by reading the latest articles at Vaccines.news.