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BioNTech Founder: Omicron Won’t Cause Serious Illness in Vaccinated

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“Vaccinated people will remain protected from developing severe COVID disease after the emergence of the variant called Omicron,” said Ugur Sahin, founder of BioNTech, the company that created one of the first vaccines against the disease alongside Pfizer.

“Our message is: Don’t freak out, the plan remains the same: Speed up the administration of a third booster shot,” Dr. Sahin said in an interview Tuesday picked up by the Wall Street Journal.

The scientist detailed that studies have shown that the vaccine, which he and his team invented in January 2020, protects against serious disease against other variants of the coronavirus.

Founder of BioNTech, explains the scientific basis

“Our belief [that the vaccines work against Omicron] is rooted in science: If a virus achieves immune escape, it achieves it against antibodies, but there is the second level of immune response that protects from severe disease—the T-cells.”

The variant was first detected in Botswana in early November. It was recently identified in South Africa and reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on the 24th of this month.

In response to the situation, several governments have resumed restriction measures. In fact, President Joe Biden announced that the Federal Government will impose restrictions on air travel from South Africa and seven other countries (Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi).

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