- Trial was run in period when delta was dominant Covid strain
- Results may strengthen case for giving third doses more widely
Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE said a booster shot of their Covid-19 vaccine restored full protection in a large study, results that are likely to bolster the argument for giving a third dose more widely.
A booster was 95.6% effective against symptomatic Covid in the study, which followed 10,000 people aged 16 and older, the companies said in a statement Thursday. The fast-spreading delta variant was the predominate strain during the trial.
Pfizer shares fell 0.7% as of 10:09 a.m. in New York. 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,” Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said in a statement. The companies said they’ll share the data with health authorities in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2020-coronavirus-dash/
Regulators have wrestled with how widely to use boosters as the delta variant drives infection rates up. Some countries, such as Israel, are using boosters extensively. Many others — including the U.S. and much of Europe — have thus far come down on the side of a third dose for the elderly and other high-risk individuals. Exactly where to draw the line on who is high-risk has also been a matter of debate. Sponsored ContentInnovation Drives Companies to Rethink Hybrid CloudAWS
Half the trial participants got a booster, with five cases in that group over an average follow-up period of two and a half months. There were 109 cases in the group 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,” BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said.
Trial participants received a booster an average of 11 months after their second dose of the vaccine. They were an average of 53 years old, with slightly under one-quarter of the group older than age 65. Efficacy of the third shot was consistent across age groups and among people with pre-existing conditions, the companies said.Sponsored ContentGreen Memory Technology Turns Down the Heat from Data CentersSamsung
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said this week that older or high-risk people who got Moderna Inc.’s treatment can also get an extra shot, as can all adults who took the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The agency backed mix-and-match boosters, saying that each of the available Covid shots can be used, no matter which vaccine the recipient got the first time.