Pfizer Reports Booster Effective Against Omicron, Stock Market Up In Response
News that a Pfizer booster shot does a good job protecting against the COVID-19 Omicron variant was greeted enthusiastically by Wall Street Wednesday, as the stock markets got a big boost amid hopes that the variant won’t have a huge negative impact on the economy.
Pfizer and BioNTech, which partner on the booster, said on Wednesday that three doses of the vaccine have proven effective against Omicron. A booster shot increases antibody protection 25-fold compared with the initial two-dose series, according to a preliminary lab study.
Meanwhile, a third shot shows that the vaccine’s ability to fight the virus is comparable to the protection provided by two doses against the original strain of the virus, CNBC reported.
“Although two doses of the vaccine may still offer protection against severe disease caused by the Omicron strain, it’s clear from these preliminary data that protection is improved with a third dose of our vaccine,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a joint statement with BioNTech.
“Ensuring as many people as possible are fully vaccinated with the first two-dose series and a booster remains the best course of action to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
This is no doubt music to the ears of financial experts who fear the Omicron variant could stall an already shaky economic recovery. As GOBankingRates recently reported, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said late last month that the Omicron variant posed increased uncertainty for inflation — a bad sign in a recent parade of bad signs.
The prospect of an effective Omicron vaccine helps quell some of those fears — at least for the stock markets. The Dow, S&P and Nasdaq all pushed much higher early Wednesday following a strong rally on Tuesday, CNN Business reported.
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