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Pfizer says booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine extends protection


BREAKING NEWS: Pfizer says booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine extends protection and is being updated to target Indian ‘Delta’ variant

  • Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech says their COVID-19 booster shot extends protection against the disease
  • Levels of neutralizing antibodies were five to 10 times higher than after the standard two doses
  • The companies are planning to tailor their third dose to target the Indian ‘Delta’ variant directly

Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech announced on Thursday that a booster shot of their COVID-19 vaccine extends protection against the virus.

Clinical trials found that the third dose, given six months after the second should, generated levels of neutralizing antibodies five to 10 times higher than the initial two doses.

What’s more, the companies say they are planning to tweak the booster shot to target the Indian ‘Delta’ variant directly as it continues to spread across the U.S.

The companies said they plan to publish ‘more definitive data’ soon and submit it for approval to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech says their COVID-19 booster shot extends protection against the disease (file image)

The companies said they believe their booster shot has the potential to offer the ‘highest levels’ of protection against all variants, including the Delta variant.

However, scientists are ‘remaining vigilant’ and are developing an updated version of the third dose.

A statement reference a study from Israel that showed a decrease in efficacy against variant six months after being fully vaccinated. 

‘As seen in real world evidence released from the Israel Ministry of Health, vaccine efficacy has declined six months post-vaccination, at the same time that the Delta variant is becoming the dominate variant in the country,’ the companies said in a written statement.

‘These findings are consistent with an ongoing analysis from the companies’ Phase 3 study.’

Data showed that the vaccine still offered significant protection against severe disease, but that efficacy against symptomatic disease declined due to variants.

‘That is why we have said, and we continue to believe that it is likely, based on the totality of the data we have to date, that a third dose may be needed within six to 12 months after full vaccination,’ the statement read. 

The company said it is currently working on clinical trial materials for a booster shot to target the variant with plans to begin studies in August. 

It comes on the heels of news that the Delta variant is now the dominant strain of the virus in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data updated on Tuesday evening, the variant, also known as B.1.617.2, makes up 51.7 percent of all new infections.

That’s up from the 26.1 percent of cases previously linked to the the variant, meaning its prevalence has nearly doubled in two weeks.

The Delta variant has been detected in all 50 states and accounts for more than 80 percent of new infections in Midwestern states such as Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.  

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. 

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