Pfizer plans to get approval from the US authorities within the next month for a booster dose of its coronavirus vaccine. This was reported by a leading scientist for the company, pointing to a higher risk of re-infection six months after vaccination and spread of the Delta strain.
However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted in a joint statement that fully vaccinated Americans do not need a booster dose (additional, reinforcing) at this stage. “We are ready for booster doses if and when science proves they are needed,” the two organizations said.
Pfizer Chief Scientist Michael Dolsten said the recently reported decline in vaccine efficacy in Israel is mainly due to infections in people vaccinated in January and February. The country’s health minister said the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing infections and symptomatic diseases fell to 64% in June. “The Pfizer vaccine is very active against the Delta variant,” Dolsten said, noting, however, that after six months “there is a risk of re-infection as the antibodies weaken.” According to Pfizer and BioNTech, “third dose may be required up to 6-12 months after full vaccination. ”
Pfizer and BioNTech Develop New Delta Variant Vaccine
The two companies also announced that they are developing a new vaccine, an upgrade to an existing one that specifically targets the more contagious variant of the Delta coronavirus, and plan to begin clinical trials in August.
The two companies, which will be the first to develop a vaccine specifically against Delta, believe it will be an additional weapon in the event that an increased dose of their existing vaccine is insufficient against this strain.
A new vaccine against the Delta variant, which is under development, will target all of the coronavirus protein, not just part of it, as before. The first batch of test vaccine has already been produced. Pfizer expects coronavirus vaccine sales to reach $ 26 billion this year, which will generate large revenues in the coming years.
At the same time, the experimenters reported encouraging results from studies in people who received the third booster dose of the vaccine. An additional third dose, six months after the second, increased the activity of antibodies against the original virus strain and against the beta (“South African”) variant by five to ten times.
Other experts disagree on the need for a third vaccination at this stage
“There is really no indication in favor of a third, mRNA booster dose, given the options currently in circulation. In fact, many of us wonder if we will ever need additional, reinforcing doses of previous vaccines, ”said Dr. Celine Gauder, an infectious disease specialist at Bellevue Hospital in New York.