Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have announced plans to conduct clinical trials on an updated version of their coronavirus vaccine. The change is intended to protect against severe infections caused by the Delta variant of COVID-19.
Pfizer and BioNTech said on Thursday that clinical trials for the new version could begin as early as August, depending on regulatory approval.
The two companies also revealed the results of clinical tests on the current version of the COVID-19 vaccine to determine its efficacy if given a third time.
According to the researchers, the value of neutralizing antibodies was 5 to 10 times higher against the Beta variant first identified in South Africa after a booster shot 6 months after the second dose.
According to Pfizer and BioNTech, data indicate that the current vaccine’s efficacy in preventing infection and symptomatic disease may decline six months after a second dose. According to the researchers, a third shot may be required within 6 to 12 months of the initial vaccination to maintain the highest levels of protective efficacy.
In a joint statement issued on Thursday, the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not require a booster shot at this time.
According to the two agencies, full vaccination protects against death and severe symptoms in cases of Delta or other variant infection.
They also stated, “We are prepared for booster doses if and when science shows that they are required.”
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