Pfizer says third dose increases Delta variant protection

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Pfizer says third dose increases Delta variant protection

A third dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could “strongly” enhance protection against the Delta variant, the drugmaker said Wednesday.

The pharmaceutical company released data that showed that the booster shot could increase antibody levels against the mutation by more than five-fold in people ages 18 to 55, compared to just two doses.

For those ages 65 to 85, the third dose boosted antibody levels more than 11-fold.

Researchers said these findings, which have not been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal, indicated that the third dose “strongly” boosted protection against the Delta variant.

There’s an “estimated potential for up to 100-fold increase in Delta neutralization post-dose three compared to pre-dose three,” researchers said.

Pfizer met with federal health officials earlier this month to discuss the need for a booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine as it prepares to seek authorization.

syringe with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine
Data released by Pfizer showed that the booster shot could increase antibody levels against the mutation by more than five-fold in people ages 18 to 55.
AP

White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has said previously that it’s possible that Americans will need booster shots, though more data was necessary before health officials recommend one.

“There are studies being done now ongoing as we speak about looking at the feasibility about if and when we should be boosting people … there’s a lot of work going on to examine this in real-time,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union” earlier this month.

“Before you get that data, there will always be people, well-meaning people and well-meaning companies will say, ‘You know, the way we look at the situation, it looks like you might need a booster, so let’s go ahead and give a booster.’ But that’s not a formal recommendation,” he added.

A Northewell Health nurse inoculates Local 28 Sheet Metal Worker Demetrius Buttelman
For those ages 65 to 85, the third dose boosted antibody levels more than 11-fold.
Getty Images
An Israeli medical worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine
White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has said previously that it’s possible that Americans will need booster shots.
AFP via Getty Images

The Delta variant, which first emerged in India in December, now accounts for 82 percent of new COVID-19 cases in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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