Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech have announced that their initial lab studies show a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine may be needed to neutralize the omicron variant.
The lab findings indicate that two doses of the vaccine “may not be sufficient” to protect against infection with the omicron strain.
“The first line of defense with two doses of vaccination might be compromised (by omicron), and three doses of vaccination are required to restore protection,” said Özlem Türeci, BioNTech’s chief medical officer.
In case it becomes necessary, BioNTech and its partner Pfizer are developing an omicron-specific vaccine, which should be ready for mass production in March if regulators sign off.
The omicron variant has been spreading incredibly quickly in South Africa. It has been found in more than 50 countries including Uganda.
Experts say Omicron appears to spread more easily than the delta variant.