Biontech and Pfizer start study on Omicron vaccine


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According to Biontech, vaccines still offer a high level of protection against severe courses from Omikron. © Lennart Preiss/dpa

The Mainz-based pharmaceutical company Biontech and its US partner Pfizer had already started production at the beginning of January. The safety, tolerability and effectiveness of the vaccine candidate are now being tested.

Mainz/New York – Biontech and Pfizer have started their first clinical study to investigate a corona vaccine specially tailored to the omicron variant.

The safety, tolerability and effectiveness of the vaccine candidate are to be tested, as the two companies announced on Tuesday. The study will include up to 1,420 test subjects, who will be divided into three groups.

The first group includes around 600 participants who have already received two doses of the previous vaccine between 90 and 180 days before the start of the study and are now to receive one or two doses of the Omikron vaccine. The second group, almost as large, consists of boosted people who receive an additional dose of the conventional vaccine or a dose of the omicron vaccine. The third group with a good 200 test persons consists of unvaccinated people who have not yet had Covid-19 and who then receive three doses of the Omicron vaccine.

Delivery planned until March

“The study is part of our scientific approach to develop a variant-based vaccine that offers similar protection against omicron as we have observed with previous variants, but at the same time lasts longer,” said Biontech boss Ugur Sahin. Vaccines still offer a high level of protection against severe courses from omicron.

The Mainz-based pharmaceutical company and its US partner announced about two weeks ago that they had already started production of a corona vaccine adapted to the Omicron variant for later commercial use. Biontech had stated that the two companies are “ready to supply the market by March, once regulatory approvals have been received.”

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has not yet stated whether it considers an Omicron-adapted vaccine with a different composition than the vaccine currently used to be necessary. dpa


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