Pfizer chief uncertain about need for fourth-dose covid-19 vaccine

A nurse fills up syringes for patients when they receive booster vaccination against coronavirus (COVID-19) at a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination clinic in Southfield, Michigan, USA, September 29, 2021. REUTERS / Emily Elconin

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January 10 (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) CEO Albert Bourla said on Monday that he was unsure of the need for a fourth dose of covid-19 vaccine and that a shot aimed at the highly contagious Omicron variant would be ready. in March.

The comments were in contrast to those from Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) CEO Stephen Bancel, who said last week that people might need a second chance in the autumn of 2022, as the effect of boosters is likely to diminish over the next few months.

A huge Omicron-driven increase in COVID-19 cases has forced some nations to look at a new booster dose, but early signs suggest that repeated vaccinations may be difficult to sell when besieged populations enter their third pandemic year. read more

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“I do not know if there is a need for a fourth booster, it is something that needs to be tested,” Bourla told CNBC ahead of Pfizer’s presentation at JP Morgan’s health conference.

Work is underway on a new version of the COVID-19 vaccine that will be effective against Omicron and other variants, he said.

Earlier in the day, the US drugmaker announced three agreements to expand the use of messenger RNA technology (mRNA) on which their COVID-19 vaccine was based, including a pact worth as much as $ 1.35 billion with gene editing specialist Beam Therapeutics (BEAM). ) .O).

Pfizer has been looking to advance the development of mRNA-based vaccines and therapeutics after leading the global effort to develop a COVID-19 shot against the pandemic.

The company will also partner with Codex DNA Inc (DNAY.O) to leverage biotechnology’s proprietary technology, which can enable more efficient development of mRNA-based vaccines, therapeutics and other biopharmaceutical products.

It deals with private biotechnology. Acuitas Therapeutics will focus on the use of the Vancouver-based company’s lipid nanoparticle technology to develop up to ten vaccines or therapeutic agents.

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Reporting by Bhanvi Satija, Manojna Maddipatla and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing Devika Syamnath and Aditya Soni

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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