The companies Pfizer and BioNTech will request authorization from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to inject a third booster dose of their vaccine and offer greater protection against COVID-19.
In a statement, both companies said they have seen encouraging data from an ongoing trial of the booster vaccine, adding that it provides five to 10 times higher levels of neutralizing antibodies when given six months after the second dose.
The companies plan to send this data to the FDA in the coming weeks to get clearance. In this regard, the US media The Hill recalls that some scientists have warned that vaccine manufacturers find financial incentives to develop booster drugs and for the government to invest in more doses.
Health officials in the United States have specified that it is not clear that a booster shot is needed.
Anthony Fauci, the US government’s leading infectious disease expert, reiterated that two injections of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines even protect against the delta variant. However, Pfizer provided data on the results obtained with the vaccine in Israel.
“As seen in the real-world data published by the Israeli Ministry of Health, the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing infections and symptomatic diseases has decreased six months after vaccination, although the efficacy in preventing serious diseases remains high.” , Pfizer said.
“Based on the data that (Israel) has to date, Pfizer and BioNTech believe that a third dose may be beneficial within 6 to 12 months after the second dose to maintain the highest levels of protection,” said the companies, associated in the production of this vaccine.
Pfizer also explained that it is preparing to begin clinical trials of a modified vaccine specifically targeting the delta variant in August, should it be needed. Although, the firm specified, at the same time, that a third dose of the original vaccine could be a better option.
Following Pfizer’s announcement, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a joint statement minimizing the need for a booster vaccine.
“Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time,” the agencies said, adding that they are involved in a “rigorous science-based process” to determine if one will be needed.
The agencies emphasized again that current vaccine regimens are effective. “People who are fully vaccinated are protected from serious disease and death, even from the variants currently circulating in the country, such as Delta,” the agencies stressed.