As Gerrit De Vynck explains in the Washington Post,
… nearly two years into the pandemic many people are feeling fatigued. They may be even more susceptible to believing fake information about the coronavirus after the seemingly endless cycles of travel bans, lockdowns and the need for more vaccines and booster shots….
I encourage you to read this Washington Post article. As this article explains, “we may need to change our behavior….” because absolutely nothing seems to be slowing down the spread of misinformation. If anything, misinformation is growing. A second article that you may also want to read teaches you how to identify misinformation. This is an excellent article and worth your time to read.
I’ll have more to say about this article later. Today, I want to look at the research on omicron and the misinformation being spread about this research.
What do we know about Omicron? The truth.
On Tuesday, the media reported on a study from South Africa that indicated that the Pfizer COVID vaccine is not as effective with omicron. Yes, social media went wild.
“Why should we get the vaccine if it's not effective? I told you it wouldn't work.” The list of comments goes on and on and on.
On Wednesday morning, research was clarified. Pfizer reported on a study that showed that the Pfizer COVID vaccine is effective against omicron if you have had your booster. Albert Bourla, the CEO at Pfizer, stated during an interview on the “Today” show with NBC that
"Three doses against omicron are almost equivalent to the two doses effectiveness we had against the ... original variant…."
I hope that you will read this article and watch the video. The interview is very well done and clarifies the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine against omicron.
Don’t believe what you read on social media. Search for the truth.
The Pfizer research report is not a contradiction. It is new research. The South Africa study only tested people who had received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine; therefore, the South Africa research reports on the effects of two doses of Pfizer. The Pfizer report on Wednesday, gives the results of a study from people who had received three doses of the Pfizer vaccine--the booster.
What the research tells us is that if you have taken your booster shot, you have a high likelihood of being protected against omicron. If you have only taken two doses of Pfizer, then no, you do not have strong protection against omicron. So, go get your booster shot.
These are not “alternative facts” or “alternative research” as some people are reporting on social media. These two studies tested two totally different groups of people.
The South Africa group tested only people with two shots of the Pfizer vaccine; therefore, their results give the effect of only two shots of Pfizer with the omicron virus.
The Pfizer study researched not only people who had taken two doses, but also people who had had three doses (the booster). The Pfizer study found similar results for people who had only had two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, but when they tested people who had had three doses, the results were quite different.
You must read scientific research studies carefully. You must read exactly what the study tests. Then, you must read the results carefully to see exactly what it tells you.
Both of these studies are good. They're just testing two different things. Neither study contradicts the other.
If you read only the South Africa study or use only the South Africa study to support your opinion that vaccines do not work, then you are spreading misinformation. You are not looking at all the facts. You are separating out one tiny portion of the research and ignoring the total research picture. These are not “alternative facts;” your facts are just incomplete.
Search for the truth. Don't be misled by social media and politicians who are basing their upcoming campaigns on fear and anger.
Give the gift of life this Christmas. Get vaccinated and don't forget to wear a mask. If you’ve been vaccinated, get your booster shot. Let this be a truly Merry Christmas for everyone.
Earlier: Don’t Believe Misinformation and Lies: This Christmas, Give the Gift of Life.