Pfizer jab

Pfizer vaccine could be 40 times less effective against Omicron variant

The antibodies created by the Pfizer jab may be around 40 times less effective against Omicron than the original Covid strain according to research by the Africa Health Research Institute.

The study included a small sample of people, only studying the blood of twelve patients who had received two Pfizer vaccinations.

This small report is believed to be the first evidence from laboratory test on the new variant since it began to spread across South Africa.

Omicron is thought to be five to ten times more likely to evade the jab than the Beta variant.

Omicron cases in UK

Professor Willem Hanekom, from the Africa Health Research Institute, said: “The clinical implications of these important laboratory data need to be determined.

“It is likely that lesser vaccine-induced protection against infection and disease would be the result. 

“Importantly, most vaccinologists agree that the current vaccines will still protect against severe disease and death in the face of Omicron infection.”

There are currently just under 500 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the UK with 101 new cases being reported within the past 24 hours.

So far, the only restrictions put in place are that face masks are to be worn on public transport and in shops. The variant is yet to hospitalise or make anyone critically ill.

Michael Ryan, the World Health Organization’s emergencies director said: “We have highly effective vaccines that have proved effective against all the variants so far, in terms of severe disease and hospitalisation, and there’s no reason to expect that it wouldn’t be so.”

NHE Nov/Dec 2023

NHE Nov/Dec 2023

AI is key in helping dementia patients live independently for longer.

The Nov/Dec 2023 edition of NHE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key health sector topics, from digital transformation to navigating post-pandemic challenges.


View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Events

NHE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of healthcare services. Over 365 days you'll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with the knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

National Health Executive Podcast

Ep 39.
What makes a good NHS manager? with Anthony Painter, Director of Policy at Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

In episode 39 of the National Health Executive podcast, we were joined by Anthony Painter, who is the director of policy at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), to discuss all things management within the UK health sector and NHS.

During the podcast, Anthony shared some of the recent research CMI conducted in partnership with the Social Market Foundation, which centred around the state of management and leadership within the NHS.

More articles...

View all