New York/New Delhi | Jagran World Desk: Pfizer and BioNTech announced the initiation of a clinical study to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of an Omicron-based vaccine candidate in healthy adults aged 18 to 55. Pfizer said that the study is the part of their ‘ongoing efforts to address Omicron and determine the potential need for variant-based vaccines’.

“While current research and real-world data show that boosters continue to provide a high level of protection against severe disease and hospitalization with Omicron, we recognize the need to be prepared in the event this protection wanes over time and to potentially help address Omicron and new variants in the future,” Kathrin Jansen, Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research & Development at Pfizer said in an official statement.

“Staying vigilant against the virus requires us to identify new approaches for people to maintain a high level of protection, and we believe developing and investigating variant-based vaccines, like this one, are essential in our efforts to towards this goal,” she added.

Pfizer said that its clinical study will evaluate 1,420 participants across the three cohorts as following:

1. Cohort one: Received two doses of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 90-180 days prior to enrollment; in the study, participants will receive one or two doses of the Omicron-based vaccine.

2. Cohort two: Received three doses of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 90-180 days prior to enrollment; in the study, participants will receive one dose of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or the Omicron-based vaccine.

3. Cohort three: Vaccine-naïve participants will receive three doses of the Omicron-based vaccine.
Citing clinical and real world data, Pfizer said that people who are vaccinated, particularly those that have received a booster, maintain a high level of protection against Omicron, particularly against severe disease and hospitalization.

“The companies have previously announced that they expect to produce four billion doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in 2022, and this capacity is not expected to change if an adapted vaccine is required,” it further informed in its statement.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma