Yale doctor on Pfizer booster working against omicron variant and safe holiday gatherings


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Pfizer got the world’s attention Wednesday with news regarding its COVID-19 booster shot and the omicron variant.

“What they had found was that when people received not only the first two doses, but the booster – that vaccine series with the three doses – [that it] is effective against the omicron variant,” explained Yale Medicine Physician Richard Martinello.

Pfizer’s data showed the third vaccine, the booster, increased protection 25-fold against the omicron variant.
The drugmaker also revealed that an “omicron vaccine” is in the works for the spring.

“We are full steam ahead in planning for the omicron variant vaccine,” said Dr. Mikael Dosten, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer.

Vaccine makers Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are expected to release their vaccine results against the omicron variant in the coming days.

WEB EXTRA: Full interview with Dr. Richard Martinello, Yale Medicine Infectious Diseases doctor, and associate professor of Medicine and Pediatrics.

As for safer ways to gather this holiday season, Dr. Martinello says first, stay home if you are sick. He added, make sure everyone coming over is vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.

“It’s also a good idea to get them tested before they come over for a holiday event,” he said.

Dr. Martinello stresses the importance of ventilation if people are gathering indoors. “Even just opening windows just a little bit can help a great deal to prevent and decrease the risk for COVID.”

He says there are other places where ventilation can play a role in reducing the number of COVID virus particles in the air, like in the car if you are driving with others, like with kids who are not vaccinated.

“Make sure that your car is well-ventilated. Crack a window a little bit. Make sure that your air circulation is on high and you’re not recirculating the air.”

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