Pfizer, a US pharmaceutical company, said that three doses of its COVID-19 vaccine would provide greater protection against the delta-mutant virus. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also announced plans to apply for approval for ‘Booster Shot’ (the third dose). However, there are concerns that the third vaccination could further accelerate the sweeping up of vaccines in wealthy countries. The Israeli government is now considering whether to allow a third dose of the vaccine for the elderly.
Pfizer announced in a press release on the 28th (local time) that the third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine increases the level of antibodies that can block the delta mutation compared to the second dose. In the 18-55 age group, the increase was 5 times, and in the 65-85 age group, it increased 11 times. “The third dose has the potential to potentially increase neutralizing antibodies to delta mutations by up to 100 times,” said Dr. Michael Dolsten, who is responsible for developing the Pfizer vaccine.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bulla said in an interview with CNBC that the immune effect of the Pfizer vaccine could decrease by an average of 6% every two months. He also cites a study by researchers at the State University of New York that showed that the immune response from 96% immediately after Pfizer vaccination drops to 84% after 4 to 6 months. Pfizer has announced that it will apply for a third booster shot approval to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as early as August.
U.S. regulators have yet to be cautious about approving a third dose. The basis for this is that the Pfizer vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing severe COVID-19 remains high at 97% even after six months, according to a study from the State University of New York cited by Pfizer. Paul Opitt, a member of the Vaccine and Biologics Advisory Committee, an FDA advisory body, said, “If only 3% of severely ill patients 6 months after vaccination, two doses are sufficient.” However, the New York Times said the findings could affect the Joe Biden administration’s deliberation on the provision of booster shots for the elderly.
If the US approves the booster shot, poor countries that still lack vaccines could experience a more serious shortage. “It is an important question whether it is ethical for us to recommend a third dose in developing countries where there is a shortage of vaccines,” said Vivek Mercy, director of the US Public Health Service, in an interview with CNN. should be reduced at the same time,” he said. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), said on the 12th that “the world’s severe vaccine supply gap is getting worse because of greed”, he said that rich countries and transnational pharmaceutical companies should stop promoting booster shots. urged
Despite WHO opposition, Israel is considering starting the world’s first third dose. The Israeli Ministry of Health’s panel of experts on COVID-19 recommended that the elderly receive a third dose of the vaccine, local media Haretz reported. Prime Minister Naphthali Bennett said it is “very high” to approve a third dose for the elderly in the near future. However, Haretz said, “If a third dose of a large number of Israelis and fails to reduce the rate of COVID-19 infection, there is a risk of losing public confidence in the vaccine.” And the voices of experts are loud,” he said.