United States. The variant Omicron seems to have ‘displaced’ the two large pharmaceutical companies Pfizer e Modern, that raise a fourth dose by autumn 2022, to then begin living with the virus thanks to a annual vaccination.
According to the president of the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Albert Bourla, on the day of the Epiphany during a video conference with the investment bank Goldman Sachs: “With the Delta variant in progress, in fact, the company had considered – explained Bourla to the manager of the research division of Goldman Scahs Chris Shibutani, who asked him – to prepare the production for a third dose of vaccine around the world and then a revaccination. in autumn. But what complicates the situation today is Omicron, which makes us wonder if we need it a fourth rapid dose before proceeding with the annual vaccination plan. Already today Omicron has pushed to give the third dose not at six months as it was originally planned, but at three. And this will drastically change the landscape ”.
But Bourla seems to have some more certainty: “One is that the virus will not go away and we assume it will remain for a decade. It will be endemic everywhere, it has and will have the ability to create variants so it will live, in one way or another, with humankind for years to come. This is what the majority of scientists believe and also that of the main opinion leaders. The second certainty we have is that the immune protection with the variants we know and now it seems also with Omicron, is short-lived, with both the vaccine and natural infection: a few months, less and less. This is why the idea of a fourth dose has emerged at least before proceeding with the regular annual vaccination “.
Be in tune with Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna: “I would be surprised to receive data in the coming weeks that the booster dose held well over time. I would expect it to not hold up very well ”these are the words of Bancel reported by Cnbc reported by the AdnKronos agency, during an event organized by Goldman Sachs.
According to international agencies, several countries, including Great Britain and South Korea, they are already ordering vaccine doses for a fourth round. “I believe we will need booster doses in the fall of 2022 and beyond,” he says, alluding to the need for annual boosters for the elderly and frail. “We have said that, according to our beliefs, this virus will not go away. We will have to live with it ”, adds the CEO.
In December, Moderna published a preliminary study showing that a 50 microgram booster dose increases antibodies to the Omicron variant 37 times. With a dose of 100 micrograms, this is 83 times. Data collected in Great Britain by the UK Health Security Agency shows that 20 weeks after the second Pfizer or Moderna dose, efficacy against symptomatic infection caused by Omicron drops to 10%. The same report indicates that the protection rises to 75% at 2 weeks after the booster dose. The effectiveness, however, begins to decline after 4 weeks. This is why, therefore, the hypothesis of a fourth dose is concrete according to the pharmaceutical company.