Pfizer’s Covid booster 96% more effective than just a double jab
Pfizer’s Covid booster jab is 95.6% better at preventing infection than in those who have only had two doses, the company announced today.
If these results are borne out on a larger scale, they could be key to reducing case numbers amid waning Covid immunity.
This is the first data to be released on the efficacy of the booster from a randomised, controlled Covid vaccine booster trial.
The trial, which had more than 10,000 participants, was tested at a time when the Delta variant was the prevalent strain.
While the trial data is promising, the data has yet to be submitted to various regulatory bodies, such as the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Though the MHRA already made a regulatory change in September approving Covid booster jabs, the new efficacy data could convince the Joint Commission on Vaccination and Immunisation to roll out booster jabs to the whole adult population.
Current JCVI advice is that booster jabs are only rolled out to ‘those more at risk from serious disease’.
Amid surging case numbers, and what appears to be waning immunity for some adults who were vaccinated at the beginning of the year, the government has begun to draw up back-up plans to try and reduce the virus’ spread, including the potential roll-out of booster jabs to all.
The trial results reportedly restored vaccine protection to the high levels achieved after the second dose, showing a relative vaccine efficacy of 95.6% when compared to those who did not receive a booster.
The average time between a second dose and a booster dose was around 11 months, with results measured from at least seven days after the booster was administered. The trial saw five cases of Covid in the booster group, compared to 109 cases in a group that received a placebo.
Pfizer didn’t measure any adverse vaccine effects different from that of the initial trials.
‘These results provide further evidence of the benefits of boosters as we aim to keep people well-protected against this disease,’ said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.
‘In addition to our efforts to increase global access and uptake among the unvaccinated, we believe boosters have a critical role to play in addressing the ongoing public health threat of this pandemic.
‘We look forward to sharing these data with health authorities and working together to determine how they can be used to support the rollout of booster doses around the world.’
Ugur Sahin, co-founder of BioNTech, said that the data suggests booster vaccinations ‘could play an important role in sustaining pandemic containment and a return to normalcy.’