Pfizer Starts Clinical Study for Omicron-Focused Version of COVID-19 Vaccine

The clinical study, announced Tuesday, will see Pfizer and BioNTech analyzing a vaccine candidate that specifically targets the pandemic-extending variant.

A logo for Pfizer is shown on a building

Image via Getty/Erik McGregor/LightRocket

A logo for Pfizer is shown on a building

A clinical study has been launched for an Omicron-focused vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech.

The study, announced Tuesday, will take a look at the performance of “an Omicron-based vaccine candidate” for those between the ages of 18 and 55. Different regimens of the current vaccine or an Omicron-focused one will be examined, with the study also drawing upon previous info obtained through a Phase 3 booster study.

In a statement shared Tuesday, Kathrin U. Jansen, Ph.D.—who serves as Pfizer’s Senior VP and Head of Vaccine Research & Development—noted that the latest research and data shows that boosters from the original vaccine “continue to provide a high level of protection” against both severe disease and hospitalization. This Omicron-focused tweak, meanwhile, is part of a larger approach to remain vigilant with regards to variants.

Included the study’s three cohorts (including as many as 1,420 participants) are those who received two doses of the current vaccine before enrollment and will receive “one or two doses” of the Omicron version, those who’ve received three original vaccine doses before enrollment and who will receive a single dose of either the original or the Omicron update, and “vaccine-naïve participants” who will instead get three Omicron-specific doses.

The Omicron variant, of course, has further complicated the ongoing pandemic in recent months. Despite the fact that we are now a couple years deep into this, anti-vaccine rhetoric and related misinformation has continued to persist in a variety of ways.

As always, make sure you’re vaccinated and boostered by way of the currently available doses. And if you’re not, remedy that here. For free COVID-19 tests, although the program in question has frustratingly capped the total number per household to just four, click here.

Latest in Life