Omicron ‘probably’ won’t be prevented by fourth vaccine jab, Israeli researcher says

Gili Regev-Yochay, an infectious disease expert at Sheba Medical Center, said the fourth jab increases antibodies “even a little bit higher than what we had after the third dose,” but the increase is likely not enough to prevent omicron, which is considered more transmissible than earlier variants, Reuters reported.

Pfizer and Moderna did not immediately respond to an after-hour emails from Fox News. 

In this aerial view, people wait in their cars to be tested for coronavirus at a drive-in testing site on January 6, 2022 in Petah Tikva, Israel. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

In this aerial view, people wait in their cars to be tested for coronavirus at a drive-in testing site on January 6, 2022 in Petah Tikva, Israel. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images) ( Amir Levy/Getty Images)

The U.S. has urged all those 12 and older to take a booster shot when eligible. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said earlier this month that the booster dose “will provide optimized protection against COVID-19 and the omicron variant.”

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U.S. data earlier this month showed that symptomatic COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are between seven and 11 times higher in unvaccinated adolescents than vaccinated ones, according to the Associated Press.

A man receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine in central Israeli city of Modiin, on Jan. 12, 2022. (Photo by Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua via Getty Images)

A man receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine in central Israeli city of Modiin, on Jan. 12, 2022. (Photo by Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua via Getty Images) (Photo by Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Israel will still give its citizens the option to take the fourth jab despite the preliminary study, Reuters reported.

Nachman Ash, the health ministry director-general, told Army Radio that the country believes that “protection from serious morbidity, especially for the elderly population and at-risk population, is still afforded by this vaccine (dose), and therefore I call on people to keep coming to get vaccinated.”

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The Times of Israel reported that the hospital where the study was conducted called for the country to continue the “vaccination drive for risk groups at this time, even though the vaccine doesn’t provide optimal protection against getting infected with the variant.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report 

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