Citing data from an Oxford University lab study, AstraZeneca on Thursday said that a three-dose course of its COVID-19 vaccine, Vaxzevria, is effective against the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, reports Reuters. The study is yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
The neutralizing levels after a three-dose course of Vaxzevria against Omicron is broadly similar to that against the virus' Delta variant after two doses, the study held. The researchers at Oxford who carried out the study are independent and not from those who worked on the vaccine with it, said the company.
The T-cell response provides durable protection against severe disease and hospitalisations due to Omicron, said Mene Pangalos, the head of AstraZeneca's biopharmaceuticals R and D. T-cell is a critical component of the immune system which helps fight infections.
After the booster shot, the antibody levels against Omicron were higher than in people who were infected and recovered naturally from Covid, the pharmaceutical company said. The findings are similar to vaccine manufacturers Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna, who, likewise, have found that a third dose of their shots works against Omicron.
Oxford's study analysed blood samples from those infected with Covid-19, those vaccinated with two doses and a booster, and those previously infected with other variants of concern. 41 samples of people given three doses of Vaxzevria were also included.