Pfizer Developing Specialized Vaccine Targeting Delta Variant of COVID-19
By Staff, Agencies
While the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been granted full FDA approval, Pfizer researchers have not slowed down, and are presently pursuing the development of another vaccine to specifically combat the highly contagious Delta variant, according to Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla.
"We are making, right now, a specialized vaccine for Delta," Bourla told "NBC Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt on Monday, speaking of the dominant COVID-19 variant. "I am almost certain that we will not need it because the booster shot of the current vaccine is very, very effective against Delta."
Bourla said that those previously hesitant to take the vaccine should feel more at ease with the FDA fully backing the two-dose shot.
The Pfizer CEO also argued that while there are "serious" side effects, such as lymphadenopathy, they are incredibly rare.
US health officials announced earlier this month that, beginning Sept. 20, vaccinated individuals will be able to begin scheduling appointments for their COVID-19 booster shot.
The new dose should be administered eight months after the individual's second dose, and is expected to enhance immunity, which wears off after approximately six months.
Immunocompromised individuals in the US can already receive their third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, emphasized on Tuesday that the monoclonal antibody treatments developed by the Eli Lilly and Company, Regeneron and GlaxoSmithKline-Vir Biotechnology have been found to reduce one's risk of hospitalization, or death, by 70% to 85%.
Such treatment must be completed prior to one's infection.