JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Pfizer COVID-19 boosters have been available to select categories of the most vulnerable people. Now, new data shows the booster vaccine is highly effective in preventing infection.
Dr. Michael Koren, who heads up local vaccine trials, is calling this a ‘tremendous’ step in the fight against the virus.
Koren says the data released this week is better than he could have hoped, after the Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research participated in the worldwide COVID-19 Pfizer booster study.
He says it shows a booster of the original Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective, and worked against the highly contagious delta variant.
“That is really, really strong, Level I scientific data showing that the third dose of the Pfizer shot works," Koren said. "And there's no reason to believe that the Moderna shot won't have the same results since they have a similar platform.”
In the next week or two, Koren predicts, the Pfizer booster will be recommended by the FDA and then authorized by the CDC for the majority of Americans.
“I'm super excited," he described. "And I've been telling people that, from my standpoint, it's a good idea to get the third dose.“
The trial results come after two major COVID-19 booster updates. The FDA authorized booster doses of the vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for select categories of people, and said it’s safe for Americans to choose a different dose from their original inoculation as a booster.
“What they found is that if you started with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and you get one of the mRNA vaccines, Pfizer or Moderna, your antibody levels jump up tremendously, 20-30-40 times increase in antibodies," Koren explained.
He recommends people who received Johnson & Johnson as their baseline vaccine to choose one of the mRNA vaccines for their booster. Koren says there isn’t as significant of an increase in antibodies if you mix and match between Pfizer and Moderna.