BioNTech vaccine booster more effective against Covid Omicron variants – Study

Research from the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) Faculty of Medicine has found that people taking the BioNTech mRNA vaccine as the third booster dose produces more neutralizing antibodies against Omicron variants.

The study carried out by Dr. Daniel Baptista-Hon, an Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Medicine, and Professor Ligong Lu, the Director of the Zhuhai People’s Hospital was published in ‘Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy’

According to a statement by the university, the research led by Dr. Baptista-Hon and Prof. Lu found that in people who have received two doses of the inactivated virus vaccine, those who receive the BioNTech mRNA vaccine as a booster produce more neutralizing antibodies effective against the Omicron BA.2 variant.

The latest community outbreak, which saw about 1,800 confirmed cases found in the SAR involved predominately the Omicron BA.2 variant.

“The results of our study show that the choice of the booster shot is very important, and the data in our study is in line with the recommendations of the Health Bureau of the Macau SAR Government that people should consider the mRNA vaccine as their booster dose”, says Dr. Baptista-Hon.

The research as also part of ane ongoing Macau Antibody Protection Study (MAPS), initiated in February 2022, a multidisciplinary collaboration between the MUST Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital, the Zhuhai People’s Hospital and Guangzhou Medical University, and Fosun Pharmaceuticals.

MAPS is led by Chair Professor Kang Zhang and Dr. Baptista-Hon, with the overall aim of evaluating the effectiveness of vaccine protection in Macau.

A total of 615,293 Macau residents had received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, of which 70 per cent received the Sinophgarm inactivated vaccine, 14 per cent mRNA BioNTech vaccine, 5 per cent had taken different vaccine doses and o.04 per cent other vaccine types.

Some 282,621 people had so far received the third booster dose, 73.7 per cent of which were Sinopharm doses and 13.5 per cent BioNTech doses.

“MAPS (Macau Antibody Protection Study) is a very important study to keep track of the level of protection against COVID-19 in Macao, which can also help guide vaccination strategies. We are always looking for new participants so if anyone is interested they can get in touch with us,” Chair Professor Zhang added in the announcement.