Pfizer says early tests found its COVID-19 booster protects against om…

FILE – This Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 file photo shows vials for the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at a permanent clinic in Exeter, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Pfizer said Wednesday that a booster measure of its COVID-19 vaccine may protect against the new omicron variant already though the initial two doses appear considerably less effective.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said lab tests showed a booster measure increased by 25-fold the level of so-called neutralizing antibodies against omicron.

Pfizer announced the preliminary laboratory data in a press release and it hasn’t in addition experienced scientific review. The companies already are working to create an omicron-specific vaccine in case it’s needed.

Scientists have speculated that the high jump in antibodies that comes with a third measure of COVID-19 vaccines might be enough to counter any decline in effectiveness.

Antibody levels predict how well a vaccine may prevent infection with the coronavirus but they are just one inner of the immune system’s defenses. Pfizer said two doses of the vaccine may nevertheless generate protection against harsh disease.

“Although two doses of the vaccine may nevertheless offer protection against harsh disease caused by the Omicron strain, it’s clear from these preliminary data that protection is maximized with a third measure of our vaccine,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.

Pfizer’s announcement had an immediate impact on U.S. markets. Futures that had pointed to a lower open reversed course in seconds and swung solidly to the positive with the Dow jumping almost 200 points.

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