Israeli scientists have discovered that the Pfizer/BioNTech CoVID-19 vaccine can provide significant protection against Omicron.

Sheba Medical Centre, the Health Ministry’s Central Virology Laboratory, compared 20 patients who had been given two doses of vaccines five to six months prior to the same amount of people who were given a booster a month later.

Gili RegevYochay director at Sheba’s Infectious Diseases Unit, stated that those who had received the second dosage 5 to 6 months back do not possess any ability for neutralization against Omicron. However, they have some for the Delta strain.

The good news is, it can be increased by about 100 times with the booster dose. The booster dose is protected in a substantial way.

Regev-Yochay admitted, however that it is less effective at protecting against Omicron than the Delta variant.

“It’s less than the neutralization capability against the Delta. It’s about four times higher,” she stated.

Israeli researchers have found that a three-shot course of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine provides significant protection against the new Omicron variant

Israeli researchers discovered that three shots of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine provide substantial protection against Omicron.

Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the Infectious Diseases Unit at Sheba Medical Centre in Israel

Gili Regev – Yoochay is the director of Sheba Medical Centre’s Infectious Diseases Unit.

These findings are similar to the ones presented earlier this week by BioNTech, Pfizer and were an indication that booster shots may be crucial to prevent infection with the new variant. 

Israeli officials claimed that they had used an actual virus, while companies were using a pseudovirus. This was bioengineered with Omicron’s hallmark mutations.

Following a South African study that showed Omicron can partly evade protection in two doses, the Israeli research is now.

According to Dr. Sharon Alroy Preis, Israel’s director of health services public health, ‘people who have had the booster are more protected than people who got the first, and obviously, more than the unvaccinated.

“Two doses do not suffice.”

Alroy-Preis announced also that Israel’s health ministry is considering whether it will encourage its citizens to get their booster shots within three months of receiving the second jab. This would ensure that they are as protected as possible. 

It comes less than a month after BioNTech announced it had begun working on a Covid vaccine specifically targeting the Omicron variant.

Even though the Pfizer/BioNTech third shot could be effective in protecting against Omicron’s spread, BioNTech stated that it may have a customized vaccine for Omicron available within the next 100 days.

An Israeli health worker administers a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a student at the al-Manahel School in the Druze village of Majdal Shams in the Israel-annexed Golan Heights, on December 12, 2021. The Israeli health ministry is considering encouraging people to take a third booster as early as three months after their second jab

On December 12, 2021, an Israeli health worker gives a dose to the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine. This was given to a student attending the al-Manahel School located in Majdal Shams (Druze Village) in the Israel-annexed Golan Heights. Israeli officials are considering encouraging patients to receive a third booster within three months of their last jab.

The company stated that the first steps in developing a vaccine for the future overlap with research needed to determine if a new shot is necessary.

Moderna has also revealed that it is working on a booster for the Omicron variant.  

Despite the news that booster jabs can provide significant protection against Omicron, Israel today announced that its citizens will be banned from travelling to Britain, Denmark and Belgium from Wednesday due to the spread of the new variant.   

Alroy-Preis stated that the Omicron variant has spread to three countries and they are now on the “red” list. 

About 50 countries, mainly in Africa, have been added to Israel’s Red List since the Omicron variant of Omicron was first discovered.   

Israel is banning its citizens from travelling to Britain, Denmark and Belgium from Wednesday due to the spread of the Omicron variant (file image). Pictured: Travellers exit the coronavirus testing area at Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel

Israel has banned its citizens traveling to Britain, Denmark, and Belgium since Wednesday because of the Omicron variant. (file photo). Pictured: A group of travelers leave the Ben Gurion International Airport’s coronavirus testing zone.

According to health officials, there were 55 cases confirmed of Omicron infection in Israel. This motivated both the ministry and government to enforce tighter mask regulations. 

Green Pass restrictions were also approved for shopping malls, which means that unvaccinated Israelis can’t enter the country. 

There are calls for Naftali Bennett, the Prime Minister of Israel to increase restrictions on Israel in coming days. 

This comes just three months after yesterday’s virus spread reached a peak of its severity and R-number rose to 1.1. 

To combat the spread of coronavirus, Israel previously banned foreigners from entering Israel for two weeks in late November. 

All Israelis, even those who have been vaccinated are required to be quarantined upon entering Israel.

Health officials said there have been 55 confirmed cases of Omicron in Israel. Pictured: A woman at a mass testing site in east Jerusalem in late November

According to Israeli health officials, there were 55 cases confirmed of Omicron. Pictured: In late November, a woman was seen at an east Jerusalem mass-testing site. 

In an effort to combat the Omicron variant, the country brought back anti-terrorism telephone-tracking technology.   

Bennett explained in November that Shin Bet anti-terrorism agency’s telephone-tracking technology helps locate the carriers of the variant and to limit its transmission to other people.

This surveillance technology, which was in use intermittently from March 2020 onwards, matched the location of viruses carriers against nearby phones to establish who they were interacting with.

After privacy concerns were raised by civil rights groups, Israel’s Supreme Court has limited its scope.