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3 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine neutralize omicron in preliminary tests, says companies

BioNTech co-founder Ozlem Tureci says companies aim to have omicron vaccine by March, pending regulatory authorization

Peter Kenny   | 08.12.2021
3 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine neutralize omicron in preliminary tests, says companies


Preliminary laboratory studies demonstrate that three doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine neutralize the coronavirus’ omicron variant, the companies said Wednesday.

“Three doses of BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine neutralize the omicron variant,” Ozlem Tureci, one of BioNTech’s two Turkish-German co-founders, told a press conference.

“Our preliminary, first dataset indicate that a third dose could still offer a sufficient level of protection from disease of any severity caused by the Omicron variant,” she said.

She said that broad vaccination and booster campaigns around the world could help better protect people everywhere and to get through the upcoming winter in the northern hemisphere.

Pfizer-BioNTech said they would continue to work on an adapted vaccine which, they believe, could help induce a high level of protection against omicron-induced COVID-19 as well as longer protection compared to the current shot.

It was the first official statement from vaccine manufacturers on the likely efficacy of their shot against omicron.

BioNTech and Pfizer said two vaccine doses resulted in significantly lower neutralizing antibodies, but that a third dose of their vaccine increased the neutralizing antibodies by a significant factor, a factor of 25.

They said they hoped to have a vaccine specifically against omicron by March, pending regulatory authorization.

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