The companies Pfizer and BioNTech today announced the start of a clinical study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of a vaccine based on the omicron variant, as reported in a statement. It was not specified in which country it will take place.
In the trial 1420 volunteers will participate who must be people without comorbidities between 18 and 55 years old, who will receive this vaccine based on the omicron variant in three different schemes or cohorts.
One of them with 615 volunteers who received two doses of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine between 90 and 180 days prior to enrollment, it will be completed with one or two doses of the omicron-based vaccine.
Another group of 600 participants who have received all three doses of current Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine between 90 and 180 days prior to enrollment will receive one dose of the current vaccine or the omicron-based vaccine during the study.
And a third group of 215 participants, who do not have any vaccine, will receive three doses of the vaccine based on omicron.
“While current research and real-world data show that boosters continue to provide a high level of protection against serious illness and hospitalization with omicron, we recognize the need to be prepared should this protection decline over time and potentially help to address Omicron and new variants in the future,” said Kathrin Jansen, senior vice president and director of vaccine research and development at Pfizer, in the statement released by both companies.
And continued: “Staying vigilant against the virus requires us to identify new approaches for people to maintain a high level of protection, and we believe that developing and researching variant-based vaccines like this one are essential in our efforts to achieve this goal.”
Over the weekend, Pfizer Inc Chief Executive Albert Bourla, had said that an annual Covid-19 vaccine would be preferable to more frequent booster shots to combat the pandemic.
Pfizer and BioNtech’s Covid-19 vaccine proved effective against severe illness and death caused by the omicron variant, but less effective at preventing transmission.
With cases on the rise globally, some countries have expanded vaccine booster programs or shortened the gap between doses.
In an interview with N12 News from Israel, Bourla was asked about the possibility of regular booster injections every four to five months.
“This will not be a good scenario. What I hope (is) that we have a vaccine that will have to be given once a year,” he said. “Once a year it’s easier to convince people to do it. It’s easier for people to remember.”
“So from a public health perspective, it’s an ideal situation. We’re looking to see if we can create a vaccine that covers omicron and doesn’t neglect the other variants. and that could be a solution,” he added.
With information from the Télam agency.