By Asmau Ahmad
German biotech firm BioNTech SE and its United States partner Pfizer Inc, have announced positive early data from a new Coronavirus (COVID-19) booster adapted to the more transmissible Omicron variant of the virus.
Pfizer and BioNTech said on Thursday that they had positive early data from the phase 2/3 study of their Omicron BA.4/BA.5-adapted bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster in individuals of 18 years and older.
Blood samples taken from participants seven days after administration of a booster dose of Omicron BA.4/BA.5-adapted bivalent vaccine showed a significant increase in neutralizing antibodies above pre-booster levels.
The company said that similar responses were seen across individuals aged 18 to 55 years of age and those older than 55 years.
“These early data suggest that our bivalent vaccine is anticipated to provide better protection against currently circulating variants than the original vaccine and potentially help to curb future surges in cases this winter,” said Albert Bourla, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer.
A booster dose of Omicron BA.4/BA.5-adapted bivalent vaccine has already received emergency use authorisation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and marketing authorisation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for individuals of 12 years and older.