U.S.-based Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, announced Tuesday they have begun a clinical trial of a new version of their COVID-19 vaccine specifically designed to protect against the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The companies said in a joint statement that it will test the new vaccine as both a primary and booster dose in more than 1,400 healthy adult volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55.
Researchers will separate the volunteers into three groups. The first group, which has received the initial two doses of the current vaccine, will get one or two doses of the new omicron-specific vaccine.
The second group of volunteers, who have received the first two doses plus a booster of the original, will get one dose of either the current version or the revised version, while the third group will be composed of unvaccinated adults who will be inoculated with three doses of the omicron-specific vaccine.
The clinical trial of Pfizer’s omicron-specific vaccine comes amid the release of a new study that suggests antibodies produced by a third dose of the original shot still provide robust protection four months after the final shot.
The findings, part of a laboratory study conducted by scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch in collaboration with scientists at Pfizer and BioNTech, was posted online Saturday and have not been peer-reviewed or published in a formal scientific journal.
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