“Even people who are vaccinated three times can transmit the disease and need to be tested, especially among vulnerable people. In addition, the Omicron strain is becoming dominant, and therefore protective measures will remain significant, especially this winter,” Şahin said.
It is noted that BioNTech intends to deliver an mRNA vaccine designed to overcome the new strain by March, subject to regulatory approval.
The company's CEO also noted that preliminary data from the UK and South Africa show that the vaccine is about 70% effective after the third dose and up to about 40% after the second dose.
Vaccine efficacy rates are still far from the 95% that was effective for previous strains of the virus. But after the third injection, Pfizer provides 70% or 75% protection against any form of the disease, which is still a good result for the vaccine as a whole.
As we reported, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was detected in 89 countries and is spreading rapidly even in places with high levels of population immunity. It remains unclear if the rapid growth of Omicron cases is because the variant evades existing immunity, is inherently more transmissible than previous variants, or a combination of both.
Due to this, the G7 named the Omicron coronavirus strain as the biggest current global public health threat.
Besides, the first case of infection with the new Omicron coronavirus strain was detected in Ukraine.