Frankfurt A third vaccination with the Covid vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer can fully restore the original high protective effect of the vaccine. Biontech and Pfizer published correspondingly positive data from a larger clinical study on Thursday. According to the data, the booster vaccination showed an effectiveness of 95.6 percent in an environment characterized by the delta variant – with a side effect profile as in previous clinical studies.
Pfizer boss Albert Bourla and Biontech boss and co-founder Ugur Sahin see the results as further evidence of the benefits of booster vaccinations. Against the background of a growing number of so-called vaccination breakthroughs, the trend towards such booster vaccinations has steadily increased in recent months. Various analyzes from practice indicate that the protective effect of the mRNA vaccine noticeably diminishes after six months.
Both in the USA and in Europe, the existing approvals for the Biontech vaccine, as well as for the comparable vaccine from Moderna, have therefore already been extended in recent weeks to include the option of an additional booster vaccination. In a number of countries, vaccinations have been administered to particularly vulnerable groups for a few weeks.
The study by Biontech and Pfizer included 10,000 people who had previously been vaccinated twice. Around half of them received a third vaccination with the standard dose of 30 micrograms of mRNA vaccine. In the observation period of two and a half months from one week after the vaccination, according to Biontech, only five cases of infection occurred in the group of those additionally vaccinated – compared to 109 in the group that had not received a booster vaccination. The third vaccination took place on average around eleven months after administration of the second dose.
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Efficacy apparently independent of age and gender
The observed relative effectiveness of the vaccine of 95.6 percent reflects the reduced incidence of Covid-19 in the booster group compared to the placebo group in people with no signs of previous Sars-CoV-2 infection, the statement said from Biontech.
The mean age of the study participants was 53 years, with 55.5 percent of the participants between 16 and 55 years and 23.3 percent of the participants 65 years and older. Several subgroup analyzes showed that the effectiveness was independent of age, gender, ethnicity or co-morbidities.
“These important data expand the existing level of knowledge and show that booster vaccinations can help to protect large parts of the population from this virus and its variants,” said Sahin about the test results. The two companies want to publish the data in a trade journal in the next few months and submit it immediately to the approval authorities in order to substantiate the existing approvals.
More: These numbers show how much Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna will depend on the competition