A landmark Israeli study conducted over the past month is finding that a fourth Pfizer booster shot is only partially effective in protecting against the omicron variant of the virus that causes COVID-19.
A lead researcher, Gili Regev-Yochay, said “we see many infected with omicron who received the fourth dose,” reported the Times of Israel.
Among the Israelis who became infected with the omicron variant after a fourth dose was the nation’s finance minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who got COVID-19 five days after his second booster.
Regev-Yochay, noting that the results of the study are preliminary, said the “bottom line is that the vaccine is excellent against the alpha and delta [variants], for omicron it’s not good enough.”
She believes it still may be a good idea to give a fourth shot to people who are at higher risk.
The study was conducted by the Sheba Medical Center in Israel, which published a statement calling for “continuing the vaccination drive for risk groups at this time, even though the vaccine doesn’t provide optimal protection against getting infected with the variant.”
Israeli media reported Israel’s Health Ministry didn’t like the publication of the study’s initial results and it pressured Sheba Medical Center into issuing the statement.
More than 500,000 Israelis have been given a fourth dose since the Health Ministry began last month offering it to Israelis 60 and older along with the immunocompromised and medical workers.
Earlier this month, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla acknowledged that two doses of his vaccine “offer very limited protection, if any” against the dominant omicron variant.
And he said the mRNA vaccines “don’t have the safety profile that we hoped we can achieve with this technology.”
Last week, the European Union’s top health agency warned that getting boosted every four months could harm the immune system’s ability to fight off the disease. The European Medicines Agency advised countries instead to mirror the seasonal influenza vaccination strategy tied to the onset of the cold season. And the World Health Organization said in a statement last week that a vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original COVID-19 vaccines is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable.
WND reported data from the Canadian province Alberta confirmed figures from Israel and Britain contradicting the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” narrative, showing a spike in COVID-19 cases after vaccination. In fact, Pfizer’s clinical trial data showed the first dose of the vaccines suppresses the immune system.
Israel and Australia, which has famously held to a strict zero-COVID policy, have recorded the highest number of cases per capita in the omicron wave.
🔸4th booster shot Israel 🇮🇱
🔸Zero-Covid Australia 🇦🇺
Both with highest case numbers in the world: pic.twitter.com/qAHGM168oZ
— Dr. Eli David (@DrEliDavid) January 17, 2022
Cases in Israel are up 9,893% since health officials said the data showed “booster shots helped bring down the fourth wave.”
Israel has shattered all of their previous case records, despite mask mandates, vaccine passports and rolling out a 4th dose
Incredibly, cases are up 9,893% since CNN quoted health officials saying the data was clear that “booster shots helped bring down the fourth wave”
— Ian Miller (@ianmSC) January 12, 2022
The good news, according to many epidemiologists, is that the highly contagious omicron variant — with its milder symptoms, akin to the common cold — appears to have peaked in many areas of the world, mirroring the rapid increase and decline in South Africa, where it was first detected.
The Telegraph of London reported “the latest sign that the pandemic is coming to an end,” citing government figures showing deaths in England and Wales are below average for this time of year.
Prof. Andrew Hayward, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, known as SAGE, said he expected the virus to settle into a seasonal pattern that will cause “much less disruption.”
“We may still get quite big winters of infection but not the sort of level where we can justify wholesale societal closedown,” he told Times Radio. “So I think it is genuinely an optimistic picture.”
Britain’s health secretary, Sajid Javid, said Monday he was cautiously optimistic that COVID-19 restrictions could be “substantially reduced” next week.