CDC, FDA contradict Pfizer on COVID-19 vaccine booster
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) late yesterday contradicted vaccine makers Pfizer-BioNTech on their assertion that people who received the two-dose mRNA vaccine will likely need a third booster dose of vaccine within 6 to 12 months of initial administration.
Pfizer said it was working on developing a new mRNA vaccine that targets rising variants of concern, including Delta (B1617.2). They also said initial small trial results show a third booster dose of the current vaccine raised antibodies to variants, including Delta and Beta.
“While Pfizer and BioNTech believe a third dose of BNT162b2 has the potential to preserve the highest levels of protective efficacy against all currently known variants including Delta, the companies are remaining vigilant and are developing an updated version of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine that targets the full spike protein of the Delta variant,” Pfizer-BioNTech said in a press release yesterday.
In an interview with Reuters, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, Mikael Dolsten, MD, PhD, said recent evidence from Israel shows waning protection 6 months after vaccine recipients had completed their second dose of the vaccine.
“It’s a small data set, but I think the trend is accurate: Six months out, given that Delta is the most contagious variant we have seen, it can cause infections and mild disease,” Dolsten said of the evidence from Israel. He said his company would be submitting data to the FDA by the end of the month to request authorization of a booster dose.