New data presented by Pfizer indicates that a third booster shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine may significantly increase protection against the Delta variant of COVID. The data shows that antibodies in those ages ages 18 to 55 increase by five times after getting a third dose of the vaccine.
The increase is even greater for older people ages 65 to 85, with eleven times as many antibodies in seniors who received a third shot. The data pool for these findings is currently limited to just twenty three people and has not yet gone through the extensive process of peer review.
The data was presented during a company earnings call this morning by Dr. Mikael Dolsten, who is the head of worldwide research, development and medical for Pfizer.
“Receiving a third dose more than six months after vaccination, when protection may be beginning to wane, was estimated to potentially boost the neutralizing antibody titers in participants in this study to up to 100 times higher post-dose three compared to pre-dose three,” Dolsten said in statement about Pfizer’s findings “These preliminary data are very encouraging as Delta continues to spread.”
Pfizer third shot would strengthen protection against Beta variant as well
Data from the same research also shows that those who receive a third booster shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine would be all the more protected against normal coronavirus and the Beta variant as well.
Pfizer believes that immunity from the first two doses of its vaccine may be waning, and that a third dose will likely prove necessary with the rise of COVID variants. The company is moving for emergency approval of its third dose in August. The CDC and the FDA both said that they believe a third booster shot to be unnecessary at this point in time.
The two federal agencies released a joint statement addressing the question of a third booster shot and in it stated that they determined the current vaccines to be of adequate strength against the threat of the Delta and Beta variants.
Despite this pushback from the CDC and the FDA, Pfizer will continue on with its pursuit of emergency approval from the FDA.
“We continue to believe it is likely that a third-dose booster may be needed within six to 12 months after full vaccination to maintain the highest level of protection, and studies are underway to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of a third dose,” Dolsten said.
“Pending regulatory approval, we also plan to start an immunogenicity and safety study in August to evaluate an updated version of our vaccine specifically designed to target the Delta variant,” Dolsten added.