Laboratory research has suggested that the Omicron variant can partially escape antibody immunity induced by the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

The research, led by Prof. Alex Sigal from the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa, has been submitted to medRxiv, a preprint server for health sciences.

The research confirms predictions that a large number of mutations in the spike protein and elsewhere on the Omicron variant would translate into some evasion of the immune response induced by the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Sigal said on Twitter, Tuesday that his lab tested blood from 12 people who had been vaccinated with two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and found that there was a 41-fold decrease in the ability of antibodies from the vaccine to neutralize the Omicron variant.

(Xinhua/NAN)