The story doesn’t hang together very well, but if you got two doses of vaccine AND you were also recovered from infection, you had pretty good protection, says the Times.
How much do vaccines protect against an Omicron infection?
Several studies indicate that full vaccination plus a booster shot provides strong protection against infection with Omicron. Without a booster, however, two doses of a vaccine like Pfizer-BioNTech’s or Moderna’s provide much less protection. (Still, two doses of a vaccine do appear to protect against severe disease from Omicron.)
Scientists drew blood from fully vaccinated people and mixed their antibodies with Omicron in a petri dish loaded with human cells. Every vaccine tested so far has done a worse job at neutralizing Omicron than other variants. And antibodies from people who received two doses of the AstraZeneca or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccines don’t seem to do anything at all against Omicron.
But when researchers tested antibodies from people who had received boosters of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, they saw a different picture. Boosted antibodies blocked many Omicron viruses from infecting cells. [How soon after boosting does this effect wear off?–Nass]
Researchers found a similar response when they looked at people who had been fully vaccinated with two doses after a Covid-19 infection: Their antibodies were extremely potent against Omicron.
Real-world studies support the results of these experiments. In South Africa, researchers found that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had effectiveness against Omicron infection of just 33 percent. Against other variants, they found its effectiveness is 80 percent.
In Britain, researchers found that people who had received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine enjoyed no protection at all from infection from Omicron six months after vaccination. Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech had effectiveness of just 34 percent. But a Pfizer-BioNTech booster had effectiveness of 75 percent against infection…
In both South Africa and the United Kingdom, a high percentage of people already had Covid before the Omicron surge. The new studies indicate that reinfections with Omicron are much more common than with other variants. But the immunity from previous infections helps lower the chances that people will go to the hospital…
the government paused the distribution of monoclonal antibodies from Regeneron and Eli Lilly on Dec. 23 because Omicron appears to be resistant against the drugs. But GSK has reported that its formulation, called sotrovimab, will probably remain effective, and the federal government is scrambling to secure more doses. [Really? The feds know the GSK monoclonals work only because GSK told them so?]