Pfizer.Inc and BioNTech SE said a booster shot of their Covid-19 vaccine restored full protection. This was said keeping in mind a large study. They said that this shot would produce such results that are likely to reinforce the argument for giving a third dose more widely. A booster was 95.6% effective against symptomatic Covid. This was what the study said. It followed around 10,000 people aged 16 and older, the companies said in a statement on Thursday. The fast-spreading delta variant was the predominating strain during the trial which the doctors held earlier.
Pfizer shares fell 0.7% at exactly 10:09 a.m. in New York. However, BioNTech’s American depositary receipts gained 3.3%. “We believe boosters have a critical role to play in addressing the ongoing public health threat of this pandemic.” The Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said this in a statement which he gave to the press. The companies said they will share the data with health authorities in the U.S., Europe, and other places.
Regulators of both the companies had wrestled with how widely to use boosters as the delta variant drives. They were fidgeting with this because the infection rates were up. Some countries, such as Israel, are using boosters extensively. Many others including the U.S. and much of Europe have come down on the side of a third dose for the elderly and other high-risk individuals to this date. It has been a matter of debate as to where exactly to draw the line on who is on the high risk.
Half the trial participants got a booster. In that group, five cases were over an average follow-up period of two and a half months. There were 109 cases in the group whom the researchers randomly assigned a placebo shot. The booster was just as safe as the original two-dose vaccine. “The trial results show that booster vaccinations could play an important role in sustaining pandemic containment and a return to normalcy.” This was said by the BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin.
Trial participants received a booster too. This happened after an average of 11 months after their second dose of the vaccine. They were an average of 53 years old. Along with it, slightly under one-quarter of the group was older than age 65. The effectiveness of the third shot was consistent across age groups and among people with pre-existing conditions. This was said by the above-mentioned companies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said during this week that older or high-risk people who got Moderna Inc.’s treatment can also get an extra shot. Even all the adults who took the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine can take the shot as well. The agency backed mix-and-match boosters, saying that each of the available Covid shots can be used. This could be done no matter which vaccine the recipient got the first time.