U .S.-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotech company BioNTech said Thursday they are in the process of developing a booster shot to target the Delta variant of Covid-19.
According to CNBC and other outlets, Pfizer said if a person completes the two-dose regime of its currently licensed vaccine and takes a booster shot with the same vaccine, the vaccine will offer the highest level of protective efficacy against all known variants including the Delta variant. The company added that it is developing an updated version to cope with the Delta variant and to be sufficiently prepared for it.
They have started efforts to develop an upgraded booster shot because studies have shown that the current vaccine’s protective efficacy wanes six months after vaccination while the Delta variant with stronger transmissibility is spreading rapidly around the world. Recently, the Israeli health authority announced that the Pfizer vaccine’s protective efficacity declined from 95 percent to 64 percent amid the spreading of the Delta variant.
Pfizer and BioNTech plan to apply for emergency use authorization to the U.S. health authority within August and conduct a clinical trial in more than 10,000 people this fall. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said people who have completed the two-dose regimen do not need to take a booster shot anytime soon.