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Pfizer says its booster shot restores full COVID-19 protection

CBS News logo CBS News 10/21/2021 Aimee Picchi
A School Vaccination Event As Covid-19 Cases Among Children Grow © Bloomberg A School Vaccination Event As Covid-19 Cases Among Children Grow

Pfizer and BioNTech said Thursday that a late-stage trial of the drugmakers' COVID-19 vaccine booster showed it restored full protection against the disease. In a test involving 10,000 participants, the additional shot was 95.6% effective against the disease, according to the companies.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they plan to submit the data to the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies to support the license of boosters in the U.S. and other nations. Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed Pfizer's booster shots for several groups of people, including seniors over 65 years old, nursing home residents and adults at least 50 years old with "underlying medical conditions."

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The companies said the trial involved people who were 16 and older, and represents the first efficacy results from any randomized, controlled COVID-19 vaccine booster test. The results demonstrate the benefits of booster shots to fight the disease, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.

"These important data add to the body of evidence suggesting that a booster dose of our vaccine can help protect a broad population of people from this virus and its variants," Dr. Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, said in the statement.

Sahin added that the results suggest that "booster vaccinations could play an important role in sustaining pandemic containment and a return to normalcy."

Fauci on "mix and match" COVID boosters 04:42 © Provided by CBS News Fauci on "mix and match" COVID boosters 04:42

Pfizer's data come after the FDA on Wednesday granted emergency use authorization to COVID-19 booster shots from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. That cleared a key regulatory hurdle for millions of Americans looking to strengthen their level of protection against COVID-19, allowing adults to now also "mix and match" their booster shots. 

In other words, vaccinated adults can get an additional dose from a different brand than the one that first vaccinated them.

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