Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, in its third dose, suppresses the Omicron strain of the coronavirus that has prompted global concern over the previous two weeks, the pharmaceutical announced Wednesday.
According to Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, preliminary laboratory data reveal that a booster dose of the vaccine “provides a similar level of antibodies to Omicron as is shown after two doses against” the original virus “and other strains that appeared before Omicron.”
Pfizer vaccination vials in Panama City. A booster dose of the vaccine, according to the company, “provides a similar level of specific antibodies to Omicron as is shown after two doses against” the original virus.
The corporations did not reveal all of the preliminary data that contributed to their findings, instead of issuing merely a press release. This means that the data has not been examined by any objective third-party scientists, and it is unknown when more full data will be accessible.
“Our preliminary, first statistics suggest that a third dose could still provide a reasonable measure of protection from the disease of any complexity caused by the Omicron variation,” stated Dr. Ugur Sahin, CEO, and co-founder of BioNTech.
“Large-scale vaccination and booster efforts around the world could help us better protect people everywhere and get through the winter season,” he added.
The businesses reported a “more than a 25-fold reduction in neutralization titers against the Omicron variation compared to” the original strain, known as the “wild-type,” among those who had just gotten two doses of the shot.
According to Pfizer, “two doses of [Pfizer’s vaccine] may not be adequate to protect against infection with the Omicron strain.”
“However, because the vast majority of epitopes targeted by vaccine-induced T cells are unaffected by Omicron mutations, the organizations believe that vaccinated individuals may still be protected against advanced stages of the disease and are closely monitoring productivity increase against Omicron globally,” they added.
“While two doses of the vaccine may still provide protection against severe sickness caused by the Omicron strain, preliminary findings show that protection is better with a third dose of our vaccine,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.
“The best course of action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to ensure that as many people as possible are fully vaccinated with the first two dose course and a booster.”
Pfizer and BioNTech revealed on Nov. 25 that they began developing an Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccine and will continue to do so if needed. Depending on regulatory permission, the first batches might be delivered within 100 days, according to the firms.
“The businesses are confident that, if necessary, they will be able to produce an Omicron-based vaccine in March 2022,” Pfizer and BioNTech said.
According to BioNTech’s Sahin, an Omicron-specific vaccination would provide “prolonged immunity compared to the present vaccine.”
Pfizer’s stock increased less than 1% in premarket trade to around $52 per share.