Aug 16 (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc and its German partner
BioNTech SE have submitted to U.S. regulators the
initial data from an early-stage trial toward seeking
authorization of a booster dose of their COVID-19 vaccine, the
drugmakers said on Monday.
They said the third dose showed significantly higher
neutralizing antibodies against the initial SARS-CoV-2 virus
compared to the two doses as well as against the Beta and the
highly infectious Delta variants.
Pfizer has said its vaccine’s efficacy drops over time,
citing a study that showed 84% effectiveness from a peak of 96%
four months after a second dose. Some countries including Israel
have already gone ahead with plans to give booster doses.
However, the decision by a few rich countries to buy booster
shots has drawn the ire of health activists and the World Health
Organization, which has called for a moratorium on boosters
until at least the end of September.
The drugmakers will submit the trial data to the European
Medicines Agency and other regulatory authorities in the coming
weeks. They said results from a late-stage trial of the third
dose are expected shortly.
Last week, U.S regulators authorized a third dose of
COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer–BioNTech and Moderna Inc
for people with compromised immune systems who are likely to
have weaker protection from the two-dose regimens.
(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj
Kalluvila and Arun Koyyur)