BioNTech: A 4th dose of vaccine might be needed sooner rather than later

The fast-spreading omicron variant may mean that people might have to get a fourth dose of Pfizer's vaccine sooner than expected.

News 12 Staff

Dec 9, 2021, 12:30 PM

Updated 958 days ago


The fast-spreading omicron variant may mean that people might have to get a fourth dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine sooner than expected.
BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin  announced Wednesday morning a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose might be needed sooner rather than later, because their preliminary research shows the new omicron variant can undermine protective antibodies generated by the current vaccine.
BioNTech's announcement came on the same day the company released data showing its third dose of the vaccine provides protection against the omicron variant.
The company says three COVID-19 vaccine doses are enough to neutralize the omicron variant as they released preliminary lab studies about the variant on Wednesday.
Scientists found that two doses of the Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine doesn't give sufficient protection against the omicron strain. However, they found three doses improve protection against the variant. 
People who spoke with News 12 have had a have mixed reaction to the possibility of getting a fourth vaccine dose. “If they recommend it - yeah, I guess so. I don't know what else to do. If it's going to be something that deadly, then I guess we have to get it," says Lynne Garfinkel, of Nanuet.
“They're getting kind of nuts with this vaccine. I had three already, how many more am I going to have? One a week?” says Ed Thompson, of Nanuet.  
BioNTech reports it is developing a specific vaccine for omicron and it could be ready by March.
So, while people may eventually need a fourth dose, Şahin says what's important now is rolling out third doses as quickly as possible - that's the two original doses plus a booster.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Associated Press on Wednesday that more than 40 people in the United States have tested positive for the omicron variant, and nearly all of them showed mild symptoms,

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