Pfizer announces effective “weapon” against super mutant Omicron

Pfizer announces effective “weapon” against super mutant Omicron

BioNTech and Pfizer said that their 3-dose course of Covid-19 vaccine can fight the new Omicron strain according to laboratory research results.

In the first official statement from vaccine manufacturers about the effectiveness of the shot against the Omicron mutant, BioNTech and Pfizer said that the two doses of the vaccine resulted in significantly lower levels of neutralizing antibodies, but the dose of the vaccine. Their third dose increased the amount of neutralizing antibodies 25-fold.

“Ensuring as many people as possible get the first two doses and a third booster shot is still the best way to stop the spread of Covid-19,” said Albert Bourla, owner of Pfizer. know.

The findings are in full agreement with a preliminary study published by researchers at the African Institute of Health Research in South Africa on December 7. Research shows that the Omicron variant is able to partially evade the protective shield of two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, so the third injection could help to overcome this.

However, a laboratory analysis at Frankfurt university hospital in Germany showed that the antibody response to Omicron decreased even after 3 injections.

The CEO of German pharmaceutical company BioNTech (Germany) on December 8 said that the interval between the second and third doses of its Covid-19 vaccine could be reduced to at least 3 months to allow protection. better than the Omicron mutant in winter.

BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said the new data should spur a discussion about a third shot of an existing vaccine.

“We believe this is the right direction. Obviously our vaccine against the Omicron mutation must be a three-dose vaccine,” added Mr. Sahin.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on December 8 that governments need to re-evaluate their response to Covid-19 and step up vaccination programs to deal with the Omicron strain, although still It is too early to say how well existing vaccines will protect against the new strain.

According to WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the global spread of the Omicron variant shows that it can have a major impact on the Covid-19 pandemic, and action is needed now before more Omicron patients enter. institute. After first appearing in South Africa last month, Omicron has now spread to nearly 60 countries.

“We call on all countries to increase surveillance, testing and genetic sequencing. Any complacency now will cost lives,” Tedros said.

Because the Omicron strain appears to be more contagious, it takes a double effort to break the chain of infection, said WHO emergencies director Mike Ryan. WHO also noted initial evidence from BioNTech and Pfizer on the vaccine’s effectiveness against Omicron.

The WHO said in the next few days it will publish a review of the booster dose of the vaccine. However, in the context of worryingly low vaccination rates in most developing countries, promoting two full doses of vaccine remains a priority for WHO.

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