Covid-19: Updated Pfizer booster protects against Omicron subvariants

Shots lead to substantial increase in neutralising antibody levels

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By Reuters

Published: Thu 13 Oct 2022, 6:55 PM

Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech said on Thursday that their Omicron-adapted Covid-19 vaccine booster generated a strong immune response against the currently circulating BA.5 and the BA.4 subvariants of Omicron.

The companies said data from a trial in adult patients showed that the booster dose led to a substantial increase in neutralising antibody levels against the BA.4/BA.5 variants.

Omicron-tailored shots made by Pfizer and Moderna Inc have already been greenlit by several countries, including in the United States for adults and, more recently, for children as young as 5 years.

But, that US authorisation was based on the safety and effectiveness of the original vaccine, and not the BA.4/BA.5-tailored shots.

The preliminary data on Thursday also suggested that the bivalent vaccine was likely to provide better protection against the Omicron subvariants than the original vaccine.

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