U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said Friday a new study indicates their COVID-19 booster vaccination provides significant antibody protection against the omicron variant and its subvariants among adults.
The companies introduced a new booster targeting the omicron variant in September, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for use last month, along with a similar vaccine produced by U.S. drug company Moderna, as have several other countries.
In their statement, the companies said the new data show the COVID-19 booster, adapted to target the omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, generated four times the neutralizing antibodies against the omicron variants among adults ages 55 and older than their original vaccine.
The study also showed after one month, the booster dose generated more than 13 times the number of neutralizing antibodies against the variants in patients older than 55 than patients who received the original vaccine; 9.5 times the antibodies in patients 18 to 55 years old.
Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said in the statement that as the United States heads into the holiday season, the new data should encourage people who have not done so to seek out a booster shot as soon as they are eligible to receive it — six months after their last vaccination.
Pfizer and BioNTech said they have shared the data with the FDA and plan to share it with the European Medicines Agency and other global health authorities as soon as possible.
A booster dose of the omicron-targeting vaccine has been authorized by the FDA for emergency use for ages 5 years and older and has also been granted marketing authorization in the EU by the European Commission.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.