Pfizer Just Began Testing This New Kind of COVID Vaccine
Your next Pfizer shot might protect you from multiple illnesses at once.
If you've been fully vaccinated for a few months now, you've probably considered when you'll need a booster shot. While experts predict anywhere between eight months to over a year, nothing is set in stone yet. Right now, the initial shots appear to provide at least six months worth of protection and most U.S. recipients are still within that timeframe. Nevertheless, pharmaceutical companies are working on developing boosters for the fall should they be needed, and Pfizer just announced its trial of a COVID vaccine booster that will help protect against multiple illnesses in a single shot.
On May 24, Pfizer announced that it had just begun a trial involving 600 adults over the age of 65 to test the administration of the company's pneumococcal vaccine—which protects against pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis—with a third COVID dose. The study that is underway is meant to test the safety and efficacy of combining the two vaccines.
Those participating in the trial got their second dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine at least six months prior to receiving this booster. Participants in the trial will randomly get either the combined vaccines, a placebo, or purely a COVID booster.
"If successful and approved, people could get both vaccines in one visit," Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla tweeted after the announcement.
He also noted that the "primary objective" of the trial is to test the administration of both vaccines at once, while the secondary goal is to identify the immune response.
Pfizer isn't the only pharmaceutical company looking to combine the COVID vaccine with another common shot in the future. In April, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel told CNBC's Squawk Box that their upcoming COVID booster could be combined with the flu vaccine, helping you develop antibodies against both illnesses in one sitting. "What we're trying to do at Moderna actually is try to get a flu vaccine in the clinic this year and then combine our flu vaccine to our COVID vaccine, so you only have to get one boost at your local CVS store," Bancel said. He hopes that the combined vaccine would annually "protect you to the variant of concern against COVID and the seasonal flu strain."