By Bojan Pancevski
The omicron variant of the coronavirus could lead to more infections among vaccinated people but they will most likely remain protected from a severe course of illness, according to the inventor of one of the first Covid-19 vaccines.
While the new variant might evade the antibodies generated in reaction to the vaccine, the virus will likely remain vulnerable to immune cells that destroy IT once it enters the body, BioNTech SE /zigman2/quotes/214419716/composite BNTX -10.01% co-founder Ugur Sahin said.
“Our message is: Don’t freak out, the plan remains the same: Speed up the administration of a third booster shot,” Dr. Sahin said in an interview Tuesday.
Based on current knowledge about the mechanisms behind the vaccine and the biology of variants, Dr. Sahin said he assumed that immunized people would have a high level of protection against severe disease even if infected by the omicron variant. Dr. Sahin said that the vaccine, which he and his team invented in January 2020 and then developed together with Pfizer Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202877789/composite PFE -2.04% , has been proven to protect from severe disease against other variants of the coronavirus that do infect vaccinated people.
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