Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Early BioNTech, Pfizer data suggests boosters may protect against Omicron infection

Stock MarketsDec 08, 2021 01:58PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A vial labelled with the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic 2/2

By Ludwig Burger and Michael Erman

(Reuters) -BioNTech and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) said on Wednesday a three-shot course of their COVID-19 vaccine was able to neutralise the new Omicron variant in a laboratory test, an early signal that booster shots could be key to protection against infection from the newly identified variant.

The German and U.S. companies said two doses of their vaccine resulted in significantly lower neutralising antibodies but could still be protective against severe disease.

"The first line of defence, with two doses of vaccination, might be compromised and three doses of vaccination are required to restore protection," BioNTech Chief Medical Officer Ozlem Tuereci said at a press conference.

The companies also said they could deliver an upgraded vaccine targeted specifically at the Omicron variant in March 2022 if one is needed.

BioNTech and Pfizer are the first manufacturers of a COVID vaccine to issue an official update on the efficacy of their shot against Omicron.

In samples of blood taken around a month after the third shot the Omicron variant was neutralised about as effectively as two doses neutralised the original virus identified in China.

The Omicron variant, first detected in southern Africa and Hong Kong last month, has triggered global alarm about another surge in infections. Cases have already been reported from Japan to the United States and across Europe.

"The new data from Pfizer on vaccine effectiveness against Omicron is encouraging," U.S. President Joe Biden tweeted on Wednesday. "Anyone who is eligible and has not been boosted should go get a booster today."

BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin suggested that countries might consider shortening the time period between second and third doses of the vaccine to combat the new variant.

He cited recent moves by countries including Britain to bring the third shot forward to three months after the second shot, from six months previously.

"We believe this is the right way to go particularly if the Omicron is now spreading further, to enable a better level of protection in the winter season," Sahin said.

Dr. Walter Orenstein, a professor at Vanderbilt and former director of the U.S. CDC's immunization programs, said he found the data encouraging because it suggests that the current vaccines are still usable against the Omicron.

"We may not have to change the vaccine," he said. "We may be able to get by with the current vaccine, at least for repression of severe disease."

OMICRON-SPECIFIC VACCINE

The World Health Organization classified Omicron on Nov. 26 as a "variant of concern" but said there was no evidence to support the need for new vaccines specifically designed to tackle the variant and its mutations.

Nevertheless, the companies said they would continue efforts to bring an Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccine to market. Work started on Nov. 25.

They said their planned production of 4 billion doses of the Comirnaty vaccine in 2022 was not expected to change if an adapted vaccine was required. BioNTech said that even if an adapted vaccine was available in March, it would not be broadly available for some time, noting that perhaps 25 to 75 million doses of the new vaccine would be ready at first.

Pfizer scientist Kena Swanson said the company is considering also testing two doses of an Omicron-specific vaccine in currently unvaccinated people.

Pfizer and BioNTech's findings are broadly in line with a preliminary study published by researchers at the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa on Tuesday, which said Omicron could partially evade protection from two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and suggested a third shot might help fend off infection.

Research on the new variant is still at an early stage. Laboratory (NYSE:LH) analysis at University Hospital Frankfurt in Germany found the ability to mount an antibody response to Omicron in people who had three shots was up to 37 times lower than the response to Delta.

Even so, two shots of the vaccine may still protect against severe disease, Pfizer and BioNTech said.

The vast majority of surface structures on the Omicron spike protein targeted by the T-cells, which typically emerge after vaccination, are not affected by Omicron's mutations, they said.

T-cells are the second pillar of an immune response, alongside antibodies, and are believed to prevent severe disease by attacking infected human cells.

For their analysis, the two companies used a virus that was bio-engineered to have the hallmark mutations of Omicron, known as a pseudovirus, and blood was collected from subjects three weeks after a second vaccine dose or one month after a third.

There is no significant data yet on how vaccines from Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and other drugmakers hold up against the new variant but they are expected to release their own data within weeks.

Early BioNTech, Pfizer data suggests boosters may protect against Omicron infection
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (31)
Antonio Adryane
Antonio Adryane Dec 08, 2021 1:32PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
There is always a new "shot" for a new variant. Politicians and big pharma are thankful for COVID.
Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson Dec 08, 2021 1:30PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Pro booster vax crowd, go home, you've had too many shots and you're not making sense anymore. I'll call you an uber ;o)
Kate Davis
Kate Davis Dec 08, 2021 10:12AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
How many shots ppl need all base on how much money the big pharma want to make from the CCP-virus. Three is just the least.
Miriam Morkhul
Miriam Morkhul Dec 08, 2021 10:12AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Obamas administration funded the gain of function research in Wuhan. I believe Fauci was over seeing the program at the time.
Philip Bolin
Philip Bolin Dec 08, 2021 10:10AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Reuters is complete fake news garbage
Mart Bab
Rubberduck1973 Dec 08, 2021 10:04AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Oh ok. So the fed can go ahead and raise interest rates. Ok
Mike Johnson
Mike Johnson Dec 08, 2021 9:55AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
breaking news Pfizer vaccines creates zombies ,, zombies attack in Australia
Philip Bolin
Philip Bolin Dec 08, 2021 9:55AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Tony Huynh 🐑🐑🐑
Mike Johnson
Mike Johnson Dec 08, 2021 9:50AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
zombies in Australia
Matt Brackley
Matt Brackley Dec 08, 2021 9:45AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
lies on lies on lies...and who cares omicron= new common cold
FUTURES MOONING
FUTURES MOONING Dec 08, 2021 9:42AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
No one cares. F your propaganda.
Edi Sutrisno Hadi Ismanto
Edi Sutrisno Hadi Ismanto Dec 08, 2021 9:41AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
ahh busines is busines , next we need 4 shot.
John Avenetti
John Avenetti Dec 08, 2021 9:37AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
who believes this baloney anymore
Yankee Steve
Yankee Steve Dec 08, 2021 9:29AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Vaccine to infinity and beyond. I see $$$$ 🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑 to infinity and beyond just as Brandy Vaugh warned us about
Luis Sa
Luis_S Dec 08, 2021 9:22AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Next month it will be another shot. If you don't die of covid no worries the shots will *******you
Bonney Lake
Bonney Lake Dec 08, 2021 9:18AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
this is all about money 💰, that's all.
Prinvesta Dong
Prinvesta Dec 08, 2021 9:00AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
3 shots ? how about this...https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/two-israeli-doctors-infected-with-omicron-hospital-says-2021-11-30/
Patrick Turner
Patrick Turner Dec 08, 2021 8:46AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Im sick of vax shots - and suspicious
Green Mango
Green Mango Dec 08, 2021 8:46AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
..anyone with a brain is alarmed at all of this pharma-driven police state
Me comment
Me comment Dec 08, 2021 8:46AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Then die
ben sc
ben sc Dec 08, 2021 8:46AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Me comment no one is dying from Omicron.
Green Mango
Green Mango Dec 08, 2021 8:44AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Oh how profitable!  Get the public in a frenzy over a mild cold virus and sell more shots!  Demand full FDA trials for anything this day forward people, don't fall for this any longer.  They are counting on your ignorance
Pratt Man
Pratt Man Dec 08, 2021 8:44AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
it's a mild cold virus only if you get the vaccine.
Green Mango
Green Mango Dec 08, 2021 8:44AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Pratt Man  Try to keep up .  This is not a "pandemic", Omnicron killed nobody.  But your Phizer stock is doing well, huh? Good for you skippy!
Green Mango
Green Mango Dec 08, 2021 8:44AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Me comment  You must be working for Phizer or the CDC to be this far in the tank.
ben sc
ben sc Dec 08, 2021 8:44AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
who has died from Omicron?
Bett Albern
Bett Albern Dec 08, 2021 8:15AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
I will take my chance with getting Omicron.  No more Vacs for me.
Pratt Man
Pratt Man Dec 08, 2021 8:15AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
go for it tough guy
Green Mango
Green Mango Dec 08, 2021 8:15AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Pratt Man  Omnicron.  Mild symptoms, no deaths.  But hey, you and your kids can take all the shots you submit to...have at it.  I'm sure it's safe and not driven by profit motive.
Lake Lot
Lake Lot Dec 08, 2021 8:15AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Do you want a ventilator now ir later
Green Mango
Green Mango Dec 08, 2021 8:15AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Lake Lot  Stay off of the ventilator.   It is death watch.  Read out side the MSM, the "know-betters" have mislead you
Jack Hudson
Jack Hudson Dec 08, 2021 8:15AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Lake Lot Hilarious, especially when you consider the most vaccinated states have the highest case rates. Same with nations. Remember the variant? It didn't come from the un vaccinated.
Jose Cabreja
Jose Cabreja Dec 08, 2021 8:13AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
🤣🤣🤣🤡
Santi Santi
Santi Santi Dec 08, 2021 8:00AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Why not? Cherry flavor made Coke and Pepsi a lot of money also! 😒
Matthew Price
Matthew Price Dec 08, 2021 7:56AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
what a joke, these pharma companies are so corrupt
Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson Dec 08, 2021 7:43AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
can I get like 10 shots and then I'm good for the next 2 years? The more the better, right? Shoot me up, I wanna be on that good pfizer ****
Gary Ryan
Gary Ryan Dec 08, 2021 7:43AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Wow big pharama has saved us again jack, rejoyce… 10 shots will only give u 10 reasons to go into a heavily crowded area for no reason
Green Mango
Green Mango Dec 08, 2021 7:43AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Hey...we're gong to have to take your children to test out these next few vax candidates.  Don't worry, if they don't make it we will bury the data and say you are nuts.
marlow seay
marlow seay Dec 08, 2021 7:38AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
didn't they say something totally different yesterday
Samer Diab
Samer Diab Dec 08, 2021 7:38AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
that is y I keep holding pfe stock for long term no matter what happens
Edward Gary
Edward Gary Dec 08, 2021 7:38AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
No. Just..........NO!
Richard Ellis
Richard Ellis Dec 08, 2021 7:36AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Voo Doo science?
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email