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AstraZeneca Vaccine Booster Works Against Omicron, Oxford Lab Study Finds

The findings of the study, however, have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal

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COVID-19
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Citing data from a study carried out by Oxford University, AstraZeneca on Thursday, 23 December, said that a three dose course of its COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the new coronavirus variant Omicron.

The findings of the study, however, have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, reported Reuters.

But the results match those of rival vaccine manufacturing companies Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which have also established that the third dose of their shots are effective against the virus.

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How Was the Study Carried Out?

The said study was carried out on the pharmaceutical company's Vaxzevria vaccine which showed that after one took a three dose course of the vaccine, the neutralising levels against Omicron were mostly similar to those against the Delta variant after two doses.

The study was performed by analysing blood samples from three different groups – people who were vaccinated with two doses and a booster, those having COVID-19 infection and people who were previously infected with other variants of concern. As many as 41 blood samples were also taken from people who were vaccinated with three doses of Vaxzevria vaccine.

AstraZeneca said researchers who carried out the study were independent from the people who worked on the vaccine along with it.

Referring to a critical component of the immune system that responds while fighting an infection, Mene Pangalos, the head of AstraZeneca's biopharmaceuticals R&D said, "As we better understand Omicron, we believe we will find that T-cell response provides durable protection against severe disease and hospitalisations."

The antibodies generated after the booster shot was higher when compared to the levels generated in people who had naturally recovered from COVID-19, the company said adding that it is however working with its collaborator Oxford University to create a tailor made vaccine for Omicron.

Following its emergence in South Africa, last month, Omicron has been spreading rapidly across several countries in the world. While vaccine manufacturers have been making efforts to create a vaccine that provides protection from the variant, nations have begun reintroducing curbs ahead of the holiday season.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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Topics:  Vaccine   coronavirus   COVID 

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