COVID booster provides higher immune response, drug companies say

Linda Glenn
Posted at 10:57 AM, Nov 04, 2022

New COVID-19 boosters are demonstrating a “substantially higher immune response” against the omicron variant, according to Pfizer and BioNTech.

Pfizer and BioNTech looked at how much protection is offered one month after vaccination. They're following 900 participants in a study.

The new boosters increased participants' COVID-19 antibodies by 9.5 times for adults ages 18-55. The companies said that adults over age 55 saw a 13.2 times jump in antibodies against the omicron variant.

The companies said the boosters have been just as safe as their original COVID-19 shot.

As we head into the holiday season, we hope these updated data will encourage people to seek out a COVID-19 bivalent booster as soon as they are eligible in order to maintain high levels of protection against the widely circulating Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sublineages,” said Albert Bourla, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer. “These updated data also provide confidence in the adaptability of our mRNA platform and our ability to rapidly update the vaccine to match the most prevalent strains each season.”

Pfizer's data comes after two smaller university studies last week showed a more insignificant increase in antibodies. Federal officials, however, noted the size of the studies were small.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends boosters for those ages 5 and up with 2 previous COVID-19 shots.

So far, 8.4% of those ages 5 and up have gotten an updated shot, the CDC said.