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Pfizer vaccine offers little protection against Omicron, says a Thai doctor

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Studies have found that only two injections of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine provide only 50 per cent protection against the Omicron variant compared to the Delta variant, said Dr Chalermchai Boonyaleepun, vice president of the Public Health Commission, on his Facebook last weekend.

“Omicron is the most highly mutated variant of the Covid-19 virus, with more than 60 mutations in total and up to 32 mutations in a single peak. The new variant hits on three fronts, transmissibility, symptom severity and vaccine resistance, which are the main concerns around the world,” the message said.

Dr Chalermchai has also said that this was found by a recent survey conducted by the South Africa Medical Research Council and insurance company Discovery Health. The study was conducted on 78,000 people in South Africa and found that Omicron is resistant to two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

The study found that two injections of the mRNA vaccine provide only 33 per cent protection while being 80 per cent effective against the Delta variant. Also, the hospitalization rate is 70 per cent for Omicron and 93 per cent for Delta.

The study did not provide any information about the Moderna vaccine, which was also developed with mRNA technology.

Dr Chalermchai added that Sinovac’s inactivated vaccine also appears to be less effective against the new variant.

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