Pfizer launches clinical trial of vaccine against Omicron

Pfizer launches the ;clinical trial of a vaccine against Omicron

The Pfizer-BioNTech partnership begins its recruitment for a clinical trial aimed at testing the safety, tolerance and immune response of a vaccine developed specifically against the Omicron variant. The two partners made the announcement on Tuesday morning.

“Staying vigilant against the virus requires us to identify new approaches so that people can maintain a high level of protection, and we believe that the development and study of variant-based vaccines, such as this one, is essential in our efforts to achieve this goal,” said Kathrin U. Jansen, head of vaccine development at Pfizer, in a statement.

Dealing with Omicron, but also with other variants

While Pfizer recognizes that booster doses provide a high level of protection, the company also points to the need to be prepared should the immune response to the initial vaccine ever wane.

For BioNTech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin, the protection offered by the original vaccine against mild to moderate infections decreases more rapidly with the Omicron variant.

“This study is part of a scientific approach that aims to develop vaccines targeted against variants that achieve a similar level of protection against Omicron, as for the variants that appeared earlier, but with protection that lasts longer,” he explains.

The running of the clinical trial

The clinical trial involves 1420 people aged 18 at 55 years old. Study participants will be divided into three separate groups.

The first cohort includes people who received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine within the previous 90 to 180 days. These will receive one or two doses of the new vaccine tested.

The second cohort includes people who have received three doses of vaccine. These will receive either a new dose of the original vaccine or a dose of the new vaccine.

The third cohort is made up of people who have not received any vaccine against COVID-19. These will receive three doses of the new vaccine tested which specifically targets the Omicron variant.

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