A few days ago, researchers in South Africa shared data from a preliminary study showing that the Pfizer vaccine is less effective at blocking the omicron variant than earlier variants like beta and delta. Now, the team is telling us exactly how much less effective the vaccine is.
According to the same data gleaned from the blood plasma taken from 12 patients who tested positive for omicron, the team found that a two-shot course of Pfizer's vaccine has just 22.5% efficacy against symptomatic infection with the omicron variant, though it can thwart severe disease, according to laboratory experiments in South Africa, according to Bloomberg.
The data comes courtesy of a team of researchers at the Africa Health Research Institute in Durban.
Though data has been pouring out about omicron, and sometimes individual studies reach opposing findings, the general consensus is that omicron will be able to more easily evade protection afforded from the first generation of vaccines - however, the scientists say that people will still be protected against severe disease and death. But it matters less anyway, since any patient - even an unvaccinated one - has less to fear from omicron. The reason being is that it's believed to cause a more mild, "flu-like" infection. As we've said before, when you hear politicians like Joe Biden talking about an omicron takeover as if it were already a certainty (only a couple thousand cases have been confirmed around the world, if that), it's because they wish it were true.
The same is true for the CEOs of Moderna and Pfizer, who have been out sharing FUD about omicron with the news media on an almost non-stop rotation. They say their companies can have a new batch of vaccines available in 90-100 days. It's almost as if they've been waiting for the opportunity, and if you look back at their comments, it's clear that they have.
Still, in the US, the CDC has confirmed that only 1 of 43 patients infected with the variant has been hospitalized.
And luckily for both the US, and developing countries that haven't been able to obtain many vaccines, omicron shouldn't be more mild. Plus, there are already signs that the current mostly delta driven wave is actually slowing, despite local and national leaders' carping, followed - in many cases - by tighter restrictions on mask-wearing and (in President Biden's case) growing pressure for mandatory vaccinations.
The researchers who published this latest data also published some earlier findings about omicron that were of interest to the international community. Of course, their data will be used by Big Pharma (and then governments) to justify mandating boosters.
Fortunately for the public, cases might soon finally drop off, a process that could be aided by an omicron takeover from delta.
One engineer and independent forecaster who has been closely following the pandemic recently shared a model illustrating how cases might actually be already leveling off for good in Gauteng,the South Africa city seen as the epicenter of the omicron wave (even though the first case was reportedly discovered in a patient from neighboring Botswana).
He also projected that the death toll in an omicron-takeover scenario would likely be much, much lower than it would be if delta continued to dominate.
If this all comes to pass, it would be just in time, too, since Jerome Powell has clearly gotten "the tap" that it's time to hit the gas on unwinding the Fed's unprecedented monetary experiment as prices surge in a manner that's reminiscent of the early 1980s.
Around the world, the appetite for extended lockdowns has clearly diminished. How long until the rest of these restrictions are finally abandoned?