Examining the COVID Omicron variant — is it actually less dangerous?

COVID-19 omicron variant

This article, about examining the dangers of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, is a reprint of a comment made by the user Dave Barton in response to the article published yesterday regarding the effectiveness of boosters. I thought what he wrote was too important to be hidden in a Disqus comment. It was slightly edited for readability and style purposes.

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Why do we need COVID vaccine boosters for the Omicron variant?

COVID-19 vaccine boosters omicron

I have seen a few comments about the need for COVID-19 vaccine boosters before and after the appearance of the new Omicron variant. Of course, anti-vaxxers use this as a reason to deny the effectiveness of the vaccine. However, I’ve even seen pro-vaxxers misunderstand why boosters are needed.

Today, Pfizer announced that its preliminary studies showed that individuals who have received boosters produce about 25X more neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant than those who received the COVID-19 vaccine alone. This is awesome news with the caveat that this has not been peer-reviewed or published, it is just a report from Pfizer itself. In the hierarchy of vaccine research, it is pretty low until it is published in a medical journal.

I’m going to try to explain the reasoning behind the need for COVID-19 vaccine boosters against the Omicron variant. I hope it provides some science-based facts about boosters so that it might help you in discussions about the vaccine and new variant. I’m dividing my explanation into three broad areas, with the intent to make the science as clear as I can.

And just to remind everyone, I am fully boosted with the Moderna vaccine.

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Increased risk of stillbirth among women with COVID-19 — get the vaccine

people woman sitting technology

The CDC just published a report that women who have COVID-19 at delivery have an increased risk of stillbirth compared to women who do not have the disease. If this isn’t a good reason for pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine, I do not know what else to say.

This article will be very short because the published paper really provided only three pieces of data which are convincing reasons for pregnant women should get the COVID-19 vaccines.

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COVID-19 vaccine boosters FAQs – what you should know

COVID-19 vaccine boosters

Following the advice of the Vaccine and Related Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), the FDA announced that COVID-19 vaccine boosters can be given to those individuals who received the Moderna and JNJ vaccines. This follows a previous announcement about the Pfizer vaccine booster shots. The FDA also stated that all eligible individuals could mix and match vaccines for their booster dose.

There is a lot of information about these boosters out there, so I thought I would take a moment to try to provide some facts and clarity about what the recommendations are about these COVID-19 vaccine boosters. Also, this is related to a US FDA set of decisions and recommendations from the CDC, so this article is going to only apply to the USA. However, don’t be surprised if the EU and other regulatory agencies across the world do the same thing.

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COVID vaccine effectiveness against Delta variant –

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During the 17 September 2021 FDA vaccine expert committee meeting, the COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness against the Delta variant was reviewed. I want to assess some of the results so that we have a better understanding of how the vaccines are working against the Delta variant.

I have read all kinds of comments and reports about the COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness against the Delta variant, but it will be good to see what data was presented to the top vaccine experts in the country. Let’s take a peek at the data.

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COVID vaccines effectiveness against new Delta variant

COVID vaccines effectiveness Delta

With the spread of the Delta variant (known as B.1.617.2 by the CDC) from India, scientists have been concerned about the effectiveness of COVID vaccines against it. The good news is that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines seem to fairly effective against this new variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Let’s take a look at the paper that describes the effectiveness of the vaccines against the COVID-19 Delta variant.

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