The German company says the plan developed with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer does not require changes at this time.
German company BioNTech said its COVID-19 vaccine, developed in collaboration with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, does not require modifications to protect people against key variants of the virus currently in circulation.
“To date, there is no evidence that an adaptation of BioNTech’s current COVID-19 vaccine against the major emerging variants identified is necessary,” the company said in a statement Monday.
He added that he had nevertheless developed “a comprehensive strategy to deal with these variants should the need arise in the future”.
To prepare for a potential need to fine-tune the current vaccine, BioNTech said it began testing in March on a “modified, variant-specific version” of its injection.
“The purpose of this study is to explore the regulatory path that BioNTech and Pfizer would follow if SARS-CoV-2 were to change enough to require an updated vaccine,” he said.
At the same time, an evaluation is also underway on the effect of a possible third dose of the vaccine on the prolongation of immunity and protection against variants.
BioNTech chief executive Ugur Sahin had previously expressed confidence in his action against the variant of the coronavirus first detected in India, officially known as B.1.617.
BioNTech’s statement on Monday follows studies last week showing that the vaccine it produced with US-based Pfizer is highly effective in protecting recipients from serious illness caused by two dangerous variants of the coronavirus. first detected in UK and South Africa respectively – B .1.1.7 and B.1.351.
Previous research has indicated that the shot is also able to neutralize the highly infectious P1 strain of the coronavirus initially identified in Brazil.
The BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine was the first to be widely used against COVID-19, after rapid approval in several Western countries.
It has since been deployed in dozens of countries around the world, with orders for around 1.8 billion doses signed for this year.
Like rival injections produced by Moderna, the vaccine uses mRNA technology to prime the body’s immune system to attack the coronavirus.