The third dose of China’s COVID-19 vaccines is effective against the Omicron and Delta variants, Shanghai’s top coronavirus expert said on Friday.

According to the latest evaluation, booster shots of domestic vaccines have a “neutralization effect” on the variants, as well as the potential to reduce the occurrence of serious cases, said Dr Zhang Wenhong, head of Shanghai’s COVID-19 treatment team.

“We will get through the last cold winter together with the international community and welcome a normal and stable life next year,” Zhang said in an article on his Weibo microblog account.

Zhang said booster shots, extensive “public health measures” and China’s “zero tolerance” strategy are the most effective measures to deal with Omicron, which spreads more quickly than other variants.

“It is the most difficult time for human beings to fight against viruses,” said Zhang.

He said Chinese research teams will finish preparing effective response strategies to Omicron within three weeks.

The National Center for Infectious Diseases, for instance, has launched clinical trials for new COVID-19 antibodies, including some targeting small-molecule drugs, which will be unveiled by the end of 2021.

A Hong Kong research team has found the first two vaccine shots can help prevent the spread of Omicron. The new variant can duplicate more quickly in the bronchus than the Delta variant.

The Hong Kong and international teams have proved a third vaccine shot can effectively reduce symptoms of the coronavirus-induced pneumonia and help control hospitalization and death rates, according to Zhang.

“The Chinese experience of containing the spread of COVID-19 has become the common choice of the world,” he said.

China’s zero-tolerance strategy has mitigated the recent smattering of Delta cases in some parts of China within four weeks, he added.

The Omicron variant was detected in Tianjin in a person who arrived from overseas earlier this month, becoming the first known Omicron infection found on the Chinese mainland.

Another Omicron-infected patient, who had previously been in Shanghai, was later confirmed in Guangzhou. The 67-year-old man entered China from Canada on November 27, and had since been quarantined at a designated venue in Shanghai.