The COVID-19 vaccine developer Pfizer is working on a third shot to defeat the novel coronavirus, and it may help stop variants of the virus.

  • Right now, the Pfizer vaccine requires two shots, which are given weeks apart.

What’s going on?

Pfizer said Thursday that it is studying how to make a third booster shot to its COVID-19 vaccine, per NBC News.

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  • Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told NBC News that the third dose will protect people against the coronavirus variants.
  • “We believe that the third dose will raise the antibody response ten- to twentyfold,” he said.
  • The company will conduct a new study that will review safety and efficacy of the third dose among two age groups — those 18 to 55 and those 65 to 85, according to NBC News.

Flashback

In January, Pfizer and BioNTech said they would develop a new booster shot to help combat the new COVID-19 variantsBloomberg reports.

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  • “Every time a new variant comes up we should be able to test whether or not (our vaccine) is effective,” Bourla told Bloomberg at the time. “Once we discover something that it is not as effective, we will very, very quickly be able to produce a booster dose that will be a small variation to the current vaccine.”

Similarly, Moderna said it would work on an upgrade to the COVID-19 vaccine just in case the COVID-19 variants become more dominant in the U.S., as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • The upgrade would include a booster shot that would specifically keep people safe from variants, according to The New York Times.