As the BVI government moves to open registration for residents interested in receiving the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in the US Virgin Islands (USVI), manufacturers of the Pfizer vaccine said a third dose of their brand can “strongly” boost protection against the Delta variant.
Pfizer/BioNTech released these preliminary findings on Wednesday, July 28.
The data generated from a small number of participants indicate that after taking a third jab more than six months after receiving their second, the levels of antibodies that can target the Delta variant of COVID-19 grow fivefold in people 18 to 55 and 11-fold in people ages 65 to 85.
The Delta variant is the most transmissible strain of the coronavirus in the world.
Meanwhile, Pfizer/BioNTech recommend taking a third booster shot six months or more after becoming fully vaccinated because it is around that time that “protection may be beginning to wane”.
According to an article published by CNN, the data, which involved tests of 23 people, have not yet been peer-reviewed or published.
While Pfizer/BioNtech describes these preliminary data as “very encouraging as Delta continues to spread”, CNN has noted that it remains unclear if boosted antibody levels actually correlate to better protection, or if that extra protection is even needed.
It further indicated that the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention says the current vaccines protect people well against all the common variants.
Back in the BVI, Health Minister Carvin Malone indicated that local officials are currently finalising protocols for how the BVI will facilitate sending residents over to the USVI to take doses of the Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
The BVI currently only has AstraZeneca vaccines available locally.
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