Dr. Albert Bourla, in an open letter released Thursday, made the pitch for the Pfizer/BioNTech booster shot in advance of an FDA advisory committee meeting that will make a recommendation on the third jabs.
Bourla said evidence collected from Pfizer’s clinical trial up through six months after the second dose shows that the vaccine “continues to be safe, well-tolerated, and highly effective in preventing COVID-19, despite the appearance of different variants.”
He said researchers compared cases in participants who received the vaccine at the beginning of the study to those in participants who received placebo but were later fully vaccinated. The researchers found those who were vaccinated later in the trial experienced 26% higher efficacy as compared to those people who were vaccinated early on as part of the original group.
Pfizer has a “robust” booster research program, Bourla wrote.
“I am pleased to say that the data from the program have shown that the virus is not winning,” he wrote. “We observed a strong immune response after the booster dose.”
Also in the news:
►The boards of the San Francisco Bay Area’s two largest school districts – West Contra and Oakland – are set to vote next week on whether to mandate vaccinations against COVID-19 for all staff and students age 12 and older.
►Chinese health officials say more than 1 billion people have been fully vaccinated in the world’s most populous country. That represents 72% of its 1.4 billion people.
►A federal judge in Florida denied a request by parents of disabled children for a preliminary injunction to block Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s ban on school mask mandates.
►All workers at child care centers in New York state now must wear face coverings under a plan announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
►Chinese health officials say more than 1 billion people have been fully vaccinated in the world’s most populous country.