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Researchers study booster dose efficacy against Omicron

booster shots
Posted at 5:00 PM, Jan 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-30 18:04:11-05

BRYAN, Texas — A study conducted by Baylor Scott & White researchers determines the effectiveness of booster shots against the Omicron variant.

Thousands of patients admitted with COVID over a five-month span were reviewed. Researchers measured the severity of their symptoms in comparison to the status of their vaccination.

”The omicron variant, which is being so transmissible that we have a lot of infections going on having that extra boost to your immunity is really helping people,” said Manjusha Gaglani, research chair and chief of pediatric infectious diseases, Baylor Scott & White.

The study showed patients who got their booster shot before contracting COVID had increased rate protection by about 80 percent.

“That’s the good news that even if it’s very transmissible the hospitalizations are not going at the same high rate as infections and they’re staying the same as delta,” said Gaglani.

Although Dr. Manjusha Gaglani correlates less hospitalization with more vaccinated people, she says we should not get comfortable with the variants continuing to mutate.

“It won’t be surprising, and our immunity is short-lived," said Gaglani.

"So it’s probably going to fall into some sort of a pattern we don’t know exactly what and we hope that even though it’s transmitted easily it won’t cause as serious illness as time passes and we have some baseline immunity through infection or vaccination,”

The study also shows the vaccine efficacy decreases over time, but Dr. Fauci says a more universal vaccination effort is in the works.

”Obviously innovative approaches are needed to induce broad and durable protection against corona viruses that are known and some that are even at this point unknown," said Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor.

"Hence the terminology pan-corona virus vaccine,”

The CDC says booster doses for Pfizer and Moderna should be administered five months after the last dose, where those receiving J&J have the choice of all vaccines two months after the first dose.

But those who are immunocompromised may need an additional dose apart from their initial vaccine series prior to eligibility of boosters.