According to a recently released study, the revised mRNA-based COVID boosters made by BioNTech and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) produced a lower immune response to the fast-emerging subvariants BQ.1.1 and XBB.1.
CDC recently released data showing that BQ.1.1 appears to overtake B.A. 5 as the predominant COVID strain in the United States, accounting for an estimated 32% of infections. According to CDC data for the week ending on Saturday, XBB.1 is also on the rise, accounting for 6% of cases as opposed to 4% last week.
Updated booster doses resulted in neutralizing antibodies that were around four times less prevalent for BQ.1.1 compared to BA.5, according to a lab trial done by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch and published in Nature Medicine on Tuesday.
Since they stop the COVID virus from infecting human cells, neutralizing antibodies are crucial to the immune system.
However, following an updated booster, people who had previously contracted COVID had much greater antibody titers than people who hadn’t been exposed to COVID, protecting them well against BQ.1.1.
Antibody titers were more than eight times lower against XBB.1 due to the bivalent boosters’ significantly worse performance.
The study used blood samples from 29 persons who received the Omicron booster but had no prior history of COVID infection, 23 samples from individuals who received the booster but had prior infection, and 25 samples from individuals who received the uncorrected mRNA-based booster.
Pfizer Stock Overview
Pfizer stock was trading at $51.24 as of 12:47 PM EST. According to a November press release from Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX), their revised boosters for BA.4/BA.5 beat the original boosters against newly discovered Omicron subvariants, including BQ.1.1. A few days prior, Moderna (MRNA) claimed that its revised boosters produced “robust neutralizing action” against BQ.1.1 but with a nearly five-fold decrease in antibody titers compared to BA.4/BA.5.
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