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Pfizer Vaccine is 70% Effective at Preventing Omicron Variant

South African researchers released new data on Tuesday based on real-world COVID-19 infections in the country during the current fourth wave of coronavirus infections, driven almost entirely by the new Omicron variant.

The analysis of data gathered by the insurer Discovery, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, shows the standard two-dose regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine has been about 70% effective at preventing hospitalization over the last three weeks, as Omicron has swept across the country.

Both the vaccinologists and the pharmaceutical companies that make the vaccines have said the Omicron variant does appear to have a significant ability to evade the vaccines to cause infection. The data released on Tuesday suggests two shots of the Pfizer jab are only about 33% effective at preventing infection

The study shows that other research presented over the last week or so by Pfizer and scientists in South Africa who have been testing the vaccines against the Omicron variant. Pfizer said last week that its lab work showed the third dose, or booster, of its vaccine was highly effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection with Omicron, about as potent as just two shots had been with the previous Delta variant

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