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Pfizer, BioNTech Begin Testing Of Third Dose Against New COVID-19 Variants

According to the pharma company Pfizer, it will be testing how well the antibodies produced by its vaccine are able to neutralise some strains of coronavirus

Pfizer, BioNTech Begin Testing Of Third Dose Against New COVID-19 Variants
Highlights
  • The new trial will evaluate upto 144 Phase 1 participants: Pfizer
  • This study is critical to understanding the safety of a third dose: Pfizer
  • Pfizer has developed an mRNA vaccine

Washington: Pfizer and its partner BioNTech on Thursday (February 25) said that they have begun to test how well the third dose of their authorised vaccine stacks up against new coronavirus variants. The study will evaluate up to 144 Phase 1 participants in two age cohorts, 18-55 and 65-85 years of age. The study will include trial participants who received the two doses in the Phase 1 study 6 to 12 months ago in order to assess the boost ability of BNT162b2 (the vaccine), the companies said.

Also Read: COVID-19 Vaccines And Dosage: WHO’s Soumya Swaminathan Answers FAQs On Vaccines

It will also involve testing how well their antibodies are able to neutralize “strains of interest” in the lab, the companies said. The outlet reported that volunteers would receive a third dose between 6 and 12 months after their earlier two doses. The dosage would be identical to what’s currently authorised, 30 micrograms.

While we have not seen any evidence that the circulating variants result in a loss of the protection provided by our vaccine, we are taking multiple steps to act decisively and be ready in case a strain becomes resistant to the protection afforded by the vaccine. This booster study is critical to understanding the safety of a third dose and immunity against circulating strains. At the same time, we are making the right investments and engaging in the appropriate conversations with regulators to help position us to potentially develop and seek authorization for an updated mRNA vaccine or booster if needed, said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer.

However, Mr. Bourla noted the companies haven’t yet seen compelling evidence that variants are resistant to its vaccine, though they are taking steps to be prepared. Ugur Sahin, CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech, said,

Our proactive clinical development strategy aims to create the foundation today, that will enable us to address the challenges of tomorrow. We want to be prepared for different scenarios.

Also Read: AIIMS Director Hails Move To Expand Ambit Of COVID-19 Vaccination, Phase 2 To Begin From March 1

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorised for use under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for active immunization to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 16 years of age and older. CNN further reported Pfizer and BioNTech are also “in ongoing discussions with regulatory authorities” about potentially testing a vaccine has been modified to protect against concerning variants in a Phase 1/2 study.

On Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new guidelines that would streamline and quicken the process of updating vaccines to target variants. An agency official estimated this could involve several hundred individuals and take a few months.

Also Read: Expedite COVID-19 Vaccination Of Health Care And Front Line Workers: Centre Directs Five States

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Padma dnyaneshwar lamkhede

    March 1, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    I am 60 years old and I want covid19 vaccine how it is possible for me.

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