- Title: Pfizer to ask FDA to authorize COVID booster as Delta variant spreads
- Date: 9th July 2021
- Summary: INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, UNITED STATES (FILE - DECEMBER 16, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE VIAL (2 SHOTS) PUURS, BELGIUM (FILE - DECEMBER 22, 2020) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF PFIZER PLANT PFIZER SIGN
- Embargoed: 23rd July 2021 01:40
- Keywords: BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine Delta variant FDA Germany Israeli data Pfizer antibodies booster dose inoculation reinfection vaccine efficacy
- Location: INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA + NEW YORK, NEW YORK + WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES / PUURS, BELGIUM / UNKNOWN LOCATION
- City: INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA + NEW YORK, NEW YORK + WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES / PUURS, BELGIUM / UNKNOWN LOCATION
- Country: USA
- Topics: Health/Medicine,United States
- Reuters ID: LVA001EL4CSP3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Pfizer Inc plans to ask U.S. regulators to authorize a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine within the next month, the drugmaker's top scientist said on Thursday (July 8), based on evidence of greater risk of reinfection six months after inoculation and the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
Pfizer Chief Scientific Officer Mikael Dolsten said the recently reported dip in the vaccine's effectiveness in Israel was mostly due to infections in people who had been vaccinated in January or February. The country's health ministry said vaccine effectiveness in preventing both infection and symptomatic disease fell to 64% in June.
Pfizer's own data from the United States showed an erosion of the vaccine efficacy to the mid-80s after six months, Dolsten said, against the variants that were circulating there in the spring.
He stressed that data from Israel and Britain suggests that even with waning antibody levels, the vaccine remains around 95% effective against severe disease.
Dolsten said that early data from the company's own studies shows that a third booster dose generates antibody levels that are five to 10-fold higher than after the second dose, suggesting that a third dose will offer promising protection.
Pfizer has previously said people will likely need a booster dose. But some scientists have questioned when, or whether, they will be needed.
The FDA declined to comment on Pfizer's plans.
(Production: Mana Rabiee)
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