Pfizer Inc. and German partner BioNTech SE said Friday a new analysis of data reviewing the immune response created by the omicron BA.4/BA.5 adapted bivalent COVID vaccine showed strong results against newer omicron sublineages, including BA.4.6, BA.2.75.2, BQ.1.1 and XBB.1. The data, which has been posted on the preprint server bioRxiv, show that the booster induces a greater increase in neutralizing antibody titers than the companies’ original COVID-19 vaccine against these emerging omicron sublineages. “Based on these findings, the Omicron BA.4/BA.5-adapted bivalent booster may help to provide improved protection against COVID-19 due to Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sublineages as well as new sublineages that continue to increase in prevalence,” the companies said in a joint statement. Specifically, one month after a 30-ug booster dose of the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, neutralizing antibody titers against the sublineages increased 3.2-fold to 4.8-fold, compared with the original COVID vaccine. Neutralizing antibody titers against BA.4.6, BA.2.75.2, BQ.1.1, and XBB.1, increased 4.8-fold to 11.1-fold from pre-booster levels, following a 30-ug booster dose of the bivalent vaccine. The companies said BA.5 is still the most prevalent sublineage in the U.S. at nearly 30% of cases at time of publication, while the newly emerging BA.1.1 sublineage accounts for nearly 25% of cases and is spreading globally. The bivalent booster has been granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in people aged 5 and older, and has also been allowed in the European Union for that group.
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