Pfizer begins comparative study of original anti-Covid-19 vaccine and Omicron vaccine

New York, Jan 25 (PTI) Drug maker Pfizer has started a comparative study of the original vaccine designed to combat COVID-19 and the modified vaccine for the highly infectious Omicron form.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech announced the study on Tuesday.

It is noteworthy that Kovid-19 vaccine manufacturers are modifying their vaccines to compete with Omicron to be prepared in case global health authorities decide to make the necessary changes.

Omicron is also more likely to cause infection in people who have been vaccinated than in the previous version of the virus, but it is not yet clear whether changes to the vaccine are needed.

Studies in the US have shown that the original vaccine still provides good protection against severe symptoms and death. Also studies in the US and elsewhere make it clear that booster doses strengthen the protective shield and increase the chances of surviving mild symptoms of infection.

“We recognize the need for this protection to diminish over time and be prepared to help address future Omicron and redesigns,” said Katherine Jansson, Pfizer’s head of vaccine research.

The new US study is enrolling 1,420 healthy adults ages 18 to 55 to test the updated vaccine as a booster or as a primary vaccination. In the meantime, researchers will examine the gaps in vaccine safety and find out how the updated vaccine enhances immunity compared to the original version.

During the study, about 600 participants in the first group who had been given two doses of Pfizer’s original vaccine three to six months earlier would be given one or two Omicron-based booster doses, while the second group had 600 participants who had already received three regular doses. They will be given a dose of the regular vaccine or the Omicron based vaccine as part of the fourth dose.

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