Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Tuesday March 15 that they have asked the United States Medicines Agency to authorize an additional booster dose of their Covid-19 vaccine in people aged 65 and over. This request is made on the basis of data coming from Israel and analyzed at the time when the Omicron variant was circulating on a large scale, indicated the alliance of the American and German companies, in a press release.
These data show, according to Pfizer and BioNTech, that “an additional booster dose of messenger RNA vaccine increases immunogenicity” – the ability to elicit an immune response – “and reduces the rates of confirmed infections and severe illness” . The companies therefore requested an emergency use authorization from the FDA, the American drug agency.
A booster shot to reduce the risks
Israel was the first country to launch a new vaccination campaign. A fourth dose of Pfizer’s anti-Covid vaccine has been administered there since the beginning of January to those over 60, extended at the end of January to those over 18 at risk. It can multiply the antibodies three to five times compared to the third dose, according to the Israeli Ministry of Health. A second booster dose (often a fourth dose of vaccine) targeted at the oldest and/or vulnerable has since been on the agenda in several European countries such as Denmark, Spain, Germany or Sweden again.
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