On Monday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla indicated that two doses of the company’s vaccine may not provide adequate protection against infection by the omicron Covid form, and that the initial shots have lost part of their efficacy in avoiding hospitalisation.
Bourla stressed the importance of a third shot to increase people’s protection against omicron in an interview at J.P. Morgan’s healthcare conference.
“The two doses, they’re not enough for omicron,” Bourla explained. “The third dose of the current vaccine is providing quite good protection against deaths, and decent protection against hospitalizations.”
According to Bourla, omicron is a more difficult target than other types. Omicron can get around some of the protection afforded by Pfizer’s original two doses thanks to its dozens of mutations.
“We have seen with a second dose very clearly that the first thing that we lost was the protection against infections,” Bourla explained. “But then two months later, what used to be very strong in hospitalisation also went down. And I think this is what everybody’s worried about .”
According to real-world data from the United Kingdom, two vaccine doses are 52 percent effective in preventing hospitalisation 25 weeks following the second shot, according to the UK Health Security Agency.
According to data from the United Kingdom, two doses of Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccinations are only around 10% effective at preventing omicron infection 20 weeks after the second treatment.
According to the results, a booster dose is up to 75 percent effective in preventing symptomatic infection and 88 percent effective in preventing hospitalisation.
However, according to Bourla, it’s unknown how long a booster dose will protect against Covid. Boosters are only 40 percent to 50 percent effective against infection 10 weeks after receiving the shot, according to the UK Health Security Agency.
“The question mark, it is how long that protection lasts with the third dose,” Bourla said.
Some patients with compromised immune systems should now get four shots, three primary doses and one booster, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pfizer dosages for persons over 60 have been handed out in Israel for the fourth time. Fourth dosages, according to Israel, enhance protective antibodies fivefold.
Pfizer will have a vaccine that particularly targets omicron ready in March, according to Bourla, though it’s unclear whether it will be needed or not.
More testing, according to Bourla, are needed to determine whether or not fourth dosages are required.
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