New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Pfizer and BioNTech have announced that they would seek regulatory authorisation for a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine considering the interim trial data that showed a third dose can push antibody levels five to 10 times higher as compared to the first two doses alone. In a statement released on Thursday, the company said 3 doses of their vaccine can provide better protection against the Beta variant (first found in South Africa) and Delta variant (first found in India) than the current practice of administering two shots.

"The companies expect to publish more definitive data soon as well as in a peer-reviewed journal and plan to submit the data to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), EMA (European Medicines Agency) and other regulatory authorities in the coming weeks," the statement said.

This comes amid reports of Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine to be less effective against the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. A study published in the journal 'Nature' showed that single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, or even the AstraZeneca vaccine hardly produces any the antibodies against the Delta Covid-19 strain.

Earlier, the Israeli government also said that the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine was reportedly dropping in efficacy after six months. According to Bloomberg, Israel’s health ministry stated the company's Covid-19 vaccine protected only 64 per cent of the country's population against the virus between June 6 and July where earlier it protected 94 per cent people.

Responding to this, Pfizer-BioNTech said that the third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine may be needed within six to 12 months after full vaccination for complete protection against the Coronavirus. The company announced they are working on a Delta-specific vaccine, the first batch of which has already been manufactured. However, clinical trials will begin in August provided regulatory approvals are granted.

"While protection against severe disease remained high across the full 6 months, a decline in efficacy against symptomatic disease over time and the continued emergence of variants are expected," the company said.

(With inputs from Reuters)

Posted By: Sugandha Jha