Pfizer begins testing Omicron-adapted vaccine.
How the serum of the 3 groups of volunteers will be administered
Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Tuesday that they have started a clinical trial to test a new version of their vaccine, specifically designed to target the Omicron strain of coronavirus, which evades some of the protection offered by administering the two initial doses, says Reuters and CNN.
The companies intend to test the immune response generated by the Omicron vaccine in both three-dose doses in unvaccinated individuals and as a booster for people who have already received the two doses of the original serum.
Researchers at the two labs will also test a fourth dose of the current vaccine compared to a fourth dose of the special serum designed against Omicron in people who received the third dose of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine three to six months ago.
The two companies plan to study the safety and tolerability of the new serum in the 1,420 volunteers - adults between the ages of 18 and 55 - who will participate in the study.
The clinical trial is divided into three groups:
- Participants in the first group received two doses of the current Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 at least 90 to 180 days before the study. They will receive one or two doses of serum against Omicron.
- Participants in the second group received three doses of the current Pfizer vaccine at least 90 to 180 days before the study. They will receive either a new dose of the original serum or a dose of the Omicron vaccine.
- The participants in the third group are people who have not been vaccinated against and will receive three doses of the specially designed serum against Omicron.
Despite concerns about the effectiveness of current vaccines against the Omicron strain, research by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) shows that the administration of a third dose of messenger RNA-based vaccine - Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna - has provided 90% protection against hospitalizations caused by COVID-19.
Some countries have already started booster doses, but a recent study in Israel showed that although a fourth dose of messenger RNA vaccine increased the number of antibodies, the level was not high enough to prevent infection with the Omicron strain.
Omicron has already replaced Delta and has become the dominant variant in many parts of the world, and the new strain is now divided into different subforms, one of which, BA2, is of particular concern.
On Monday, January 17, Moderna CEO Stephan Bancel announced that the vaccine developed by his company against the Omicron variant of coronavirus will enter the stage of clinical trials in the coming weeks.
"The vaccine is complete" should enter clinical trials in the coming weeks. We hope that in March we will have the necessary data to pass on to the regulatory authorities, in order to finalize the next steps ", said Stephane Bancel, in a conference organized in virtual format on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, according to Reuters.
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The Omicron variant seems to spread faster than any other variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. About a month after the announcement that a new variant of coronavirus was discovered in South Africa, dozens of countries around the world reported cases of Omicron, including people who had either been vaccinated or had previous SARS infections. CoV-2. Omicron has long been a dominant option in the United States, and will soon be available in Europe and many other parts of the world, according to experts at the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
Omicron appears to be two to three times faster than Delta. The earliest evidence of the rapid spread of Omicron infections came from South Africa, but in other countries researchers have come to the same conclusion: Omicron cases double every two to four days - a much shorter time than needed Delta to double.
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