2 vaccines protect best against omicron variant

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By Christie Diez
There’s a claim some vaccines work better than others at protecting you from the new omicron variant.

New information suggests only two vaccine brands, Pfizer and Moderna, provide protection against getting infected with omicron.

ATLANTA — With cases of the omicron variant exploding, it’s hard to sift through all the information to know how to best protect yourself and your family. There’s a claim some vaccines work better than others at protecting you from this new variant.

Let’s verify what we know.

The Question

Do some COVID-19 vaccines protect you better against the omicron variant?

The Sources

The World Health Organization

Three new multi-national studies on vaccine effectiveness

11Alive Medical Correspondent Dr. Sujatha Reddy

Dr. Jayne Morgan, Executive Director of the COVID Task Force for Piedmont Healthcare, Inc.

The Answer

This is true.

What We Found

Across the board, health experts agree all the vaccines that exist provide some protection against severe disease no matter the variant. New information suggests only two vaccine brands, Pfizer and Moderna, provide protection against getting infected with omicron.

“So far, the evidence and data that we have seem to show that the Pfizer and Moderna [vaccines] do have the best protection against omicron. And unfortunately, most of the world has not received Pfizer or Moderna,” Dr. Sujatha Reddy said.

Across the globe, vaccines from AstraZeneca, Sinovac, or Johnson & Johnson are more widely available, but three new multinational studies, which haven’t been peer-reviewed yet, show those vaccines don’t do much against omicron.


Studies:

That global gap could have a big impact on how the pandemic continues, according to experts.

“When one area of the world sneezes, the rest of us are going to feel it,” Dr. Jayne Morgan said. “This is a global pandemic with a virus that is spread by air.”

Morgan said the vaccines do a better job of protecting from the original strain of the COVID virus. But, as the virus changes, she says our vaccines need to change, too.

“Now we’ve had alpha, beta, delta, and omicron, all slightly different versions of the original virus. Omicron is now the one that is the furthest removed from that ancestral strain. What we are seeing is the vaccines are increasingly less effective and have less durability, meaning they’re effective for shorter periods of time,” Morgan said.