Pfizer said the results of the lab study show that a third dose of their vaccine provides a similar level of neutralizing antibodies to the Omicron variant, comparable to two doses against the original coronavirus and other variants that have appeared.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently urging all adults 18 years of age and older to have a booster injection 6 months after Pfizer or Moderna or two months after the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine.
Pfizer: Two doses of vaccine are not enough against Omicron
Blood samples from those who received only the primary vaccine series, on average, saw a 25-fold decrease in antibodies against the new variant. This may indicate that that two doses of vaccine may not be enough to protect against Omicron infection, although they can still prevent severe illness, the companies said.
Representatives of Pfizer say that dose 3 of the COVID vaccine is effective against the Omicron variant, and a new vaccine, adapted to the new variant of the virus, could be launched only in March next year.
“You may need to take the third booster sooner, and that’s something that health authorities should consider very carefully and make recommendations,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. today. “But clearly the fact that you have two doses compared to nothing protects you much better,” says the expert.
Data obtained one month after receiving the third dose of BNT162b2 vaccine showed that the level of effective antibodies against Omicron is comparable to that seen in people vaccinated with two doses against previous variants of the virus.
The results from Pfizer-BioNTech are the first announced by vaccine manufacturers
According to the press release, blood samples were tested from people who received either two or three doses of the vaccine. Samples were collected three weeks after the second dose or one month after the booster dose.
On Tuesday, a South African research institute also released lab results on how the Pfizer vaccine behaved against Omicron, showing a roughly 40-fold reduction in vaccine-induced antibodies that could neutralize the new variant. However, that study did not look at booster injections.
Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are expected to announce the laboratory results for the Omicron variant in the coming days. Academic research institutions are also looking at how well the Omicron vaccine works, writes nbcnews.com.