It appears that individuals who were administered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will likely need a booster by mid-2022 in order to maintain protection against COVID-19 and future variants of the virus. Biontech has released a new study showing that six months after receiving the second of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine many individuals no long have the antibodies which neutralize the coronavirus variants.
The sample size of the study was rather small – 46 healthy young and middle aged adults had their blood analyzed six months after their second vaccination. They found that while the vaccine produced high levels of antibodies initially, the level of antibodies dropped to 10% by seven months. It also found that in almost half of the study subjects the level of neutralizing antibodies was undetectable after six months. These antibodies can block the Delta, Beta and Mu variants.
What does this mean?
The researchers have concluded that administering a booster 6-7 months after the second dose will enhance protection against the virus and the variants of it. There may also be a a need for a newer formulation of the vaccine at that point which will provide better protection against new variants that are developing.
How Can you Stay Safe?
According to Waterloo Region's medical officer of health, Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, you should make sure to be vaccinated against the vaccine and to continue to practice protection measures such as masking in high traffic indoor settings, washing hands regularly, only gather in small groups, get tested if you feel ill, and to stay cautious.