Pfizer and BioNTech have begun clinical trials of a vaccine against the “omicron” strain of coronavirus, says in a statement from pharmaceutical companies. Studies are being conducted “to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the omicron-based vaccine candidate in healthy adults 18 to 55 years of age.”
It is noted that during the study, different groups will be created to compare different schemes for administering the already used Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 and the vaccine against Omicron.
It is expected that about 1,420 people will take part in the launched tests.
The World Health Organization, following an emergency meeting at the end of November 2021, decided to classify a new variant of the coronavirus found in South Africa as of concern. The new strain B.1.1.529 has been named by the WHO with the Greek letter omicron. In December, four laboratories at once confirmed the worst fears of experts: “omicron” has learned to get away, if not from all, then from a significant part of the antibodies developed after vaccination or illness caused by previous versions of SARS-CoV-2.
Studies have shown that the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine is less effective against Omicron. Pfizer representatives said that a third, booster dose of the vaccine would be required to neutralize the new strain. And two doses will be enough to avoid a severe course of the disease.