Pfizer looking to deploy third vaccine dose to combat delta variant, will seek emergency use

Pfizer is requesting approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to distribute a third COVID-19 vaccine dose.

As with all other COVID-19 vaccines, the third dose would be given under emergency use without full authorization. Pfizer suggests a third dose within 12 months may increase immunity and protect against the newest variants. Dr. Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, said early studies show antibody levels jump five to tenfold after a third dose.

Dolsten referred to data from Israel and Britain, noting the Pfizer vaccine “neutralizes the Delta variant very well.” Studies suggest that when antibody levels drop, the virus may cause a mild infection before the immune system kicks back in. However, the booster shot was turned down by the FDA, who said the shot is not necessary for fully vaccinated Americans.

In a joint statement with the CDC, the agencies said, “We are prepared for booster doses if and when the science demonstrates that they are needed.” Overtime, antibodies from vaccines naturally wane, therefore becoming less effective. Thus far, COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine trials suggest antibodies remain effective for at least six months.

Last week, Johnson & Johnson claimed their vaccine lasts up to eight months. “Current data for the eight months studied so far show that the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine generates a strong neutralizing antibody response that does not wane; rather, we observe an improvement over time.” 



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Antoinette is a community college student in Sacramento, California. She is a Politics Editor at Fact Based America, a correspondent for Campus Reform, and a student journalist. She previously worked for Turning Point USA as a High School Coordinator.

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