Pfizer, BioNTech begin testing of third dose against new COVID-19 variants

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech on Thursday said that they have begun to test how well the third dose of their authorised vaccine stacks up against new coronavirus variants.

ANI | Washington DC | Updated: 25-02-2021 18:32 IST | Created: 25-02-2021 18:32 IST
Pfizer, BioNTech begin testing of third dose against new COVID-19 variants
Representative Image. Image Credit: ANI

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech on Thursday 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 boostability of BNT162b2 (the vaccine), the companies said. 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," said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer.

He added, "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." However, 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." 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. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Viral variants and vaccine nationalism pose two-pronged threat to Covid victory

... ...

Tracking Fintech during COVID-19: Harnessing power of technology

Its abundantly clear now that as fintech cements its place in the financial sector, accelerated further by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could open the sector to new possibilities by harnessing the power of technology to deliver financial ...

Tectonic turns: How technology shaped healthcare over the decades

Tracing an episodic evolution, with technology at the interface of human and his health....

World Water Day sees crises of inequality in countries both rich and poor

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Biden says Iranian enrichment to 60% unhelpful, but glad about talks

U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday called Irans enrichment of uranium to 60 purity unhelpful but said he is pleased Tehran is still in indirect talks with Washington about both countries resuming compliance with the 2015 Iranian nuclear dea...

Russia, retaliating against Washington, asks 10 U.S. diplomats to leave

Russia on Friday asked 10 U.S. diplomats to leave the country in retaliation for Washingtons expulsion of the same number of Russian diplomats over alleged malign activity and suggested the U.S. ambassador return home for consultations.The ...

Gunman who killed 8 workers at Indianapolis FedEx site had been detained for mental illness

The 19-year-old gunman who opened fire at a FedEx site in Indianapolis, killing eight workers before taking his own life, was a former employee with a history of mental illness that led to his detention by law enforcement last year, police ...

Biden seeks unity with Japan's Suga against China's assertiveness at first White House summit

President Joe Biden on Friday sought to present a united front with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to counter an increasingly assertive China as the U.S. leader held his first face-to-face White House summit since taking office. Bid...

Give Feedback