A new vaccine formula is in the works for the Delta variant, but in the meantime, Pfizer-BioNTech wants a booster available.
Pfizer and BioNTech have announced they will be seeking approval from the FDA for a booster shot to battle the Delta variant of the coronavirus. The booster is a third dose that would be given to people who have already received two shots of the current Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The companies will be submitting data from a study on the effectiveness of the booster in the next few weeks.
Federal health officials are worried that rising case levels in areas of the country with low vaccination rates will cause a large outbreak nationwide.
In addition to the booster shot for the current version of the vaccine, Pfizer and BioNTech are working on an updated version of the vaccine that is specifically targeted to attack the spike protein in the Delta variant. Batches of the new, improved vaccine have already been manufactured and clinical trials are expected to begin in August.
In an effort to stay ahead of the virus, we are preparing an updated version of the Pfizer-BioNTech #COVID19 vaccine based on the #DeltaVariant and may start clinical studies as early as August 2021. Learn more about our efforts: https://t.co/tQwIXxMl38 pic.twitter.com/dgOEbmjoaf— Pfizer Inc. (@pfizer_news) July 8, 2021
Preliminary data from Israel where the Pfizer vaccine was widely administered showed an uptick in cases primarily due to the Delta variant. Based on that data, Pfizer said it believes a third dose can help prevent vaccinated individuals from getting sick as new variants emerge.
“While protection against severe disease remained high across the full 6 months, a decline in efficacy against symptomatic disease over time and the continued emergence of variants are expected. Based on the totality of the data they have to date, Pfizer and BioNTech believe that a third dose may be beneficial to maintain the highest levels of protection.”
The Pfizer BioNtech vaccine is the only vaccine that has emergency approval for children aged 12 to 15. The company did not say if the authorization for a third dose would be extended to children as well.
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