Pfizer-BioNTech Prepare to Revise Vaccine Formula for Omicron Variant
On Tuesday, Pfizer-BioNTech announced they will begin a clinical trial to develop an omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
“Emerging data indicate vaccine-induced protection against infection and mild to moderate disease wanes more rapidly than was observed with prior strains,” said Prof. Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, in a press release.
To conduct the clinical trial, 1,420 participants between the ages of 18 and 55 will be enrolled and placed into three cohorts — those who have received two doses of the current Pfizer vaccine, those who received three doses, and those who have not received any vaccine doses — at least 90 to 180 days prior to the study.
Each of these three cohorts will receive between one to three shots of a 30-microgram dose of the omicron-specific vaccine. Researchers will then evaluate whether a variant-based vaccine can achieve a similar level of protection against omicron as it did with earlier variants, but with a longer duration of protection.
Pfizer-BioNTech also released new findings this week showing results from two laboratory studies that demonstrate three doses of the Pfizer vaccine elicited antibodies that neutralize the omicron variant for about four months after the third dose, and the company still expects to produce 4 billion doses in 2022.
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