Being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with one of the existing vaccines may not offer full protection against the Omicron strain, according to a study by Oxford University.

The study examined the response of the body’s antibodies to the Omicron variant 28 days after receiving a final dose of a COVID vaccine. The study found there was a "substantial fall” in the neutralizing antibodies that resisted COVID-19 compared to the immune responses seen against earlier variants.

Recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines were examined in the study. The study found that a booster shot of a COVID vaccine increased the body’s resistance against the virus by up to 75%.

Dr. Gavin Screaton, head of the university’s Medical Sciences Division and lead author of the paper, noted that the results should be encouraging for those considering getting inoculated with a booster.

“Whilst there is no evidence for increased risk of severe disease, or death, from the virus amongst vaccinated populations, we must remain cautious, as greater case numbers will still place a considerable burden on healthcare systems,” said Screaton in a statement announcing the study.

Dr. Michael Snape, professor in paediatrics and vaccinology at the University of Oxford and co-author, added that there were limitations to the study's findings. Snape noted that it only examined "neutralizing antibodies after the second dose," but said this provided limited information about cellular immunity.

President Joe Biden has encouraged more Americans to seek either their first dose of a COVID vaccine or a booster for those who are fully vaccinated. He implored Americans to heed this advice to avoid any onerous new public health restrictions from becoming necessary.