In a new study from Discovery in South Africa, researchers found the double dose of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine offers about 70% protection against severe disease from Omicron.
The emergence of the highly mutated variant Omicron was first detected in South Africa last month.
It sparked fears that it could cause severe disease, be more contagious or could evade vaccines.
Previous findings suggest that it could be more transmissible, but that vaccines still offer protection against Omicron.
In the study, the team found that two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine could provide protection against serious illness.
The double dose of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine shows 70% effectiveness in reducing the risk of hospitalization. Two doses of the vaccine offered 93% protection against earlier variants.
The finding was based on 78,000 PCR tests taken in South Africa between November 15 and December 7.
But the team warned that despite the protection offered by two doses, hospitals could still be overrun since Omicron is spreading rapidly in South Africa.
So far more than 17 million people have been vaccinated in South Africa, or around a third of the country’s population.
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One researcher of the study is Ryan Noach.
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