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Studies suggest sharp drop in vaccine protection v. omicron — yet cause for optimism

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A man is vaccinated against COVID-19 at a clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Dec. 6. The omicron variant appears to be driving a surge in South Africa. New studies suggest that vaccines might not be as effective against this variant but that a booster shot can be helpful.

In small studies in South Africa and Germany, the results indicate a marked decrease in the ability of vaccines to neutralize this variant. But there are other findings that are encouraging.

(Image credit: Shiraaz Mohamed/AP)

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