International – BioNTech says booster doses may be more effective than a modified COVID-19 vaccine

German biotech BioNTech has proposed that booster doses of its Pfizer-partnered COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty (BNT162b2) may be preferable to a modified vaccine in order to maintain the highest level of protection.

BioNTech presented data showing Comirnaty’s effectiveness against different variants of SARS-CoV-2, including the Delta strain.

“Evidence points to robust vaccine effectiveness against circulating variants in the real-world setting, including a high vaccine effectiveness against severe disease,” said BioNTech’s chief medical officer Ozlem Tureci on the call, although he noted that in elderly adults neutralisation had fallen after seven to nine months.

“To be prepared for the scenario that a response to a variant of concern may become necessary soon, we are pre-emptively establishing a development and regulatory pathway for variant specific prototype approach,” he continued. “This approach also aims to address a question whether boosting with the ancestral BNT162b2 only may suffice or variant adaptations may be required.”…