Covid-19 Omicron: UAE official says vaccine boosters can prevent infections

Booster shots can generate antibodies needed to fight an infection, official says


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 15 Dec 2021, 7:23 PM

Authorities in the UAE have urged residents to get a booster shot of a Covid-19 vaccine if they are eligible. This is especially important as Covid variants like Omicron spread around the world.

At last count, 77 countries, including the UAE, have reported cases from the Omicron variant.

Dr Taher Al Amiri, spokesperson of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), said on Wednesday that booster shots will generate the antibodies needed to fight an infection.

Citing studies by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the official said that those who have received a booster dose are less likely to get infected than those who did not.

Fully vaccinated UAE residents aged over 18 are eligible to receive booster shots six months after their second dose.

A study from researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard and MIT suggested that vaccines may be ineffective against Omicron without a booster shot.

According to a Reuters report, the researchers found "low to absent" antibody neutralisation of the variant from the regular regimens of all three vaccines - two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines or one of J&J's single-dose vaccine.

“But the blood from recent recipients of an additional booster dose exhibited potent neutralisation of the variant,” the report said, citing the study that has not been peer-reviewed.

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