Two doses of the vaccine significantly reduced neutralization titers, while three neutralized the variant.
The lab studies showed that three doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine were similar in efficacy against Omicron as two doses were against the wild-type SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
Pfizer and BioNTech indicated that two doses of the BNT162b2 are likely insufficient to prevent infection from the Omicron variant. However, the companies still expect that two doses of the vaccine will be effective at protecting against severe disease related to the Omicron variant.
Early evidence suggests that Omicron may offer less of a risk of severe disease than the Delta variant, which continues to dominate the U.S.
“Although two doses of the vaccine may still offer protection against severe disease caused by the Omicron strain, it’s clear from these preliminary data that protection is improved with a third dose of our vaccine,” noted Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO, in a press statement.
Pfizer and BioNTech have vowed to continue conducting research related to the protection of their vaccine against Omicron.
Both companies began working on an Omicron-tailored vaccine on November 25.
Moderna is also working on an Omicron-based vaccine.
Today, PFE shares ticked down 0.45% in afternoon trading to $51.48, while BNTX shares dipped 2.38% to $295.50.
Filed Under: Infectious Disease