Preliminary data from a recent study has indicated that a third AstraZeneca shot can generate antibodies to fight against the Omicron Covid variant.
According to the company, results from an ongoing safety and immunogenicity trial showed that AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine when given as a third dose booster, increased the immune response to Beta, Delta, Alpha and Gamma SARS-CoV-2 variants, while a separate analysis of samples from the trial showed increased antibody response to the Omicron variant.
The results were observed among individuals previously vaccinated with either AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine or an mRNA vaccine.
A separate Phase IV trial reported in a preprint with The Lancet on SSRN showed that a third dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine substantially increased antibody levels following a primary vaccine series with CoronaVac (Sinovac Biotech).
“AstraZeneca vaccine has protected hundreds of millions of people from COVID- 19 around the world and these data show that it has an important role to play as a third dose booster, including when used after other vaccines. Given the ongoing urgency of the pandemic and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine’s increased immune response to the Omicron variant, we will continue to progress regulatory submissions around the world for its use as a third dose booster,” said Sir Mene Pangalos, the Executive Vice President, Bio Pharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca.
Professor Sir Andrew J Pollard, chief investigator and director of the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford, said: “These important studies show that a third dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after two initial doses of the same vaccine, or after mRNA or inactivated vaccines, strongly boosts immunity against COVID-19. The Oxford- AstraZeneca vaccine is suitable as an option to enhance immunity in the population for countries considering booster programmes, adding to the protection already demonstrated with the first two doses.”
According to Barbara Nel, Country President, Africa, AstraZeneca the latest findings are a positive development in the fight against Covid.
“This is of particular importance considering the spread of the Omicron variant. This is really
positive news for Sub-Saharan Africa, where over 70M doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have been supplied, and where countries are striving to attain their vaccination targets and some are beginning to roll out booster programmes,” she said.