Doctor says evidence is clear – boosters help fight omicron

“We’re seeing 70, 80% effectiveness, depending on which study you’re looking at, which is fair, it’s really mind-boggling how well vaccines work.”

NEW ORLEANS – We’ve heard some of you ask, “Why get a COVID vaccine if it doesn’t work against the Omicron variant.”

So what’s the science behind breakthrough cases and what does and doesn’t work?

First, here’s where you can find the latest science on vaccines. Type Google Scholar. Click on this search engine then type the subject you are looking for. You will have access to first-hand scientific studies that are not filtered by websites with a diary, social media or even rewritten by a journalist.

Look for major studies from:

– New England Medicine

“These are prestigious, reputable journals that are going to be rigorously peer-reviewed, and they are going to require very rigorous experimental design and statistical analysis to be published,” said Tulane vaccinologist Dr. Lisa Morici.

And in those studies, Dr. Morici says you’ll find details of people with just two doses of the COVID vaccine.

“What we find is that after two doses of vaccine, you see very little neutralizing activity against Omicron.”

It still protects against severe cases, but that’s why there are breakthrough cases of Omicron after just two doses. Your antibodies decline over time. The same thing happens with other vaccines, it’s just that Omicron is everywhere around you, while polio and measles germs are not.

Now, with the third dose, the booster, science shows it works.

“You have a much better chance of preventing infection with Omicron and its transmission to another person with Omicron, because even if you do get a breakthrough infection, you will clear it faster,” she said.

Thus, the reminder helps to prevent breakthrough cases.

“We’re seeing 70, 80% efficacy, depending on the studies you’re looking at, which is fair, it’s really mind-boggling how well vaccines work, against a very, very contagious variant like Omicron.”

So read the large population scientific studies. Unvaccinated people are still at a much higher risk of catching Omicron, spreading it, going to hospital and dying.

And the doctor says the Omicron variant can become infectious soon after you catch it, while other infections, like measles, can take a few weeks.

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About Mark A. Tomlin

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