Scientists criticised the news, citing evidence that shows two-dose coronavirus treatment is highly successful.
In San Antonio, a pharmacy worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer vaccination. Credit… The New York Times’ Tamir Kalifa
On Thursday, Pfizer and BioNTech stated that they were working on a coronavirus vaccine that would target Delta, a highly contagious form that has spread to almost 100 nations. Clinical trials of the vaccine are expected to begin in August, according to the businesses.
Pfizer and BioNTech also reported positive outcomes from tests involving participants who received a third dosage of the initial vaccine. According to the firms, a booster shot given six months after the second dosage of the vaccine boosts the strength of antibodies against the original virus and the Beta strain by five to tenfold.
Vaccine efficacy may wane six months after inoculation, according to the firms, and booster doses may be required to protect against viral variations. The data has not been peer-reviewed or published. The vaccine producers said they plan to submit their findings to the Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks, which would pave the way for booster shots to be approved.
However, the businesses’ claims contradict other research, and other experts disagree that boosters will be required. “Given the variants that are circulating at this moment, there is really no reason for a third booster or a third dosage of an mRNA vaccine,” said Dr. Céline Gounder, an infectious disease expert at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York. “In fact, many of us doubt that you’ll ever use boosters.” On Thursday night, federal agencies sounded a suspicious note. In general, Americans who have been completely vaccinated do not require a booster shot at this time, according to a joint statement from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.