Biontech: protective effect drops six months after second vaccination

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According to Biontech/Pfizer, it is likely that a third vaccine dose will be needed within six to 12 months after full immunization against coronavirus to maintain protective efficacy.

Vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Biontech anticipate a decline in protective efficacy of the joint coronavirus vaccine after six months. “As already evident from field data collected by the Israeli Ministry of Health, the protective efficacy of the vaccine against infection and symptomatic disease declines six months after the second vaccination,” a joint statement said Thursday (local time).

Based on the data available to date, “it is likely that a third dose will be required within six to 12 months of full vaccination,” it added.

Delta variant: adapted version of vaccine in development
“Encouraging data” are being observed in an ongoing study of a third vaccination, the two companies said. Details should be published soon in a scientific journal. They also said they planned to submit the data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), its European counterpart EMA and other regulatory agencies in the coming weeks. Pfizer and Biontech assumed that a third dose would maintain the highest level of protection against all coronavirus variants tested to date, the statement added. This also applies to the spreading delta variant. However, it said, at the same time, an adapted version of the common mRNA vaccine is also being developed.

U.S. prepared for booster vaccines
Shortly after Pfizer and Biontech’s statement, a release Thursday from the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) circulated by U.S. media said Americans who are fully vaccinated do not currently need a booster shot. However, they said they are prepared to administer booster doses should scientific evidence show they are necessary. U.S. health officials were investigating the issue but were not relying solely on data from pharmaceutical companies.

  • sources: APA/vienna.at/picture: pixabay.com
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