sThe company said Friday that the updated Pfizer COVID-19 booster significantly increased antiviral antibodies in adults, and released early results from a careful study of the new shots.
Booster doses modified to target the most common Omicron strain Launched in early SeptemberThe US Food and Drug Administration said the latest data should spur more Americans to get one — especially before Another expected wave of cases People also travel for Thanksgiving.
Pfizer said that people 55 and older who got an omicron targeting booster had four times higher antibody levels than those given an extra dose of the original vaccine.
With many Americans hesitant to roll up their sleeves again, perhaps a better question is how the new booster compares to staying without another dose.
Hint: A month after receiving the new booster drug, antibody levels in people 55 and older had jumped 13 times higher than they had before the extra dose. Pfizer and partner BioNTech said younger adults saw a 9.5-fold jump. It has been about 11 months since the study participants were last inoculated.
It’s too soon to know how much realistic protection an antibody boost translates into — and how long it lasts. The results are preliminary, the study is still ongoing, and infection-fighting antibodies fade naturally over time.
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the updated enhancers Without having to test people firstbased on studies of a similarly modified vaccine – against the previous Omicron strain – rather than the exact prescription.
So the new data “assures us that this was a good decision to move to this bivalent vaccine,” the FDA’s head of vaccines, Dr. Peter Marks, told The Associated Press. “Now is the time for people to think about going out and getting their updated reinforcement.”
Health experts say winters are harsh. flu season It started unusually early and harsh, and children’s hospitals are overcrowded with other hospitals Respiratory disease called RSVAnd cases of COVID-19 again Expected to rise with festive gatherings.
The original COVID-19 vaccines still offer powerful protection against severe illness and death, especially among the younger, healthier people who get at least one booster dose — a reason anyone who didn’t get the first set of vaccines to do so. But the effectiveness decreases as new mutations appear and more time has passed since a person’s last shot.
The updated doses are combination shots, designed to provide enhanced protection against both the original coronavirus strain and the prevalent BA.5 strain. The Pfizer shot is available to anyone 5 years old or older. Moderna’s version of the updated booster is intended for ages 6 and up.
About 26.3 million Americans have received an updated booster dose since its launch in early September, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some small studies recently have raised questions about how much advantage an updated booster would provide rather than just getting another dose of the original vaccine.
Pfizer’s early results compared several dozen younger and older adults who were given the bivalent booster with a group that received a fourth dose of the company’s original vaccine.
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