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WASHINGTON, Dec 8: Pfizer and BioNTech announced Wednesday that three doses of their coronavirus vaccine “neutralize” the Omicron variant. “Preliminary laboratory studies demonstrate that three doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine neutralize the Omicron variant while two doses show significantly reduced neutralization titers,” the companies said in a statement. The statement added that data indicate that a third dose of the vaccine “increases the neutralizing antibody titers by 25-fold compared to two doses against the Omicron variant.” It continued “titers after the booster dose are comparable to titers observed after two doses against the wild-type virus which are associated with high levels of protection.”
“Although two doses of the vaccine may still offer protection against severe disease caused by the Omicron strain, it’s clear from these preliminary data that protection is improved with a third dose of our vaccine,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer Albert Bourla said. He stressed “ensuring as many people as possible are fully vaccinated with the first two dose series and a booster remains the best course of action to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” The companies said they “continue to advance the development of a variant-specific vaccine for Omicron and expect to have it available by March in the event that an adaption is needed to further increase the level and duration of protection, with no change expected to the companies’ four billion dose capacity for 2022.” (KUNA)