Pfizer’s preliminary studies show three of its COVID-19 vaccine doses are enough to neutralize the Omicron variant, the company’s chief scientific officer said on Wednesday.
The studies of Pfizer's vaccine is a relief to many residents, but what does that mean for kids age 5 to 11 who are only able to get their first two doses?
Dr. Nicholas Haddad, infectious disease specialist for Central Michigan University, said it is great news three doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is most effective against the Omicron variant.
"It is great news but definitely more to come. Boosting the antibody level by itself is a good thing but it doesn't necessarily mean that's the only solution," Haddad said.
That is two original doses plus a booster shot. Haddad said It will be months before children age 5 to 11 could receive a COVID-19 booster since vaccinations in that age group just started in November.
"I can tell you if all kids are vaccinated with two doses as they're supposed to be, we will have no issues with Omicron, almost no issues I can venture say that," Haddad said.
Haddad said it's all about timing. Since fully vaccinated kids don't have waning immunity yet, a booster isn't necessary.
"There's a nuance between boosters and adults and the vaccination in kids. Because this is a recent thing for kids, so they have good immunity. And would suffice for Omicron I would venture say," Haddad said.
Pfizer also said plans are in the works for a vaccine designed for Omicron if needed. Haddad said if everyone uses the three vaccines already available in the United States, that should be enough to defeat Omicron.
"I believe that if theoretically everybody is vaccinated by boosting, or by vaccinating kids, we do not need a variant specific vaccine," Haddad said.
For residents who have not received their booster shot yet, Haddad said now is the time to mix and match vaccines.