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New data reveals AstraZeneca booster generates higher antibodies against Omicron

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AstraZeneca said on Thursday that preliminary data from a trial it conducted on its COVID-19 vaccine, Vaxzevria, showed it generated a higher antibody response against the Omicron variant and others, including Beta , Delta, Alpha and Gamma, when given as a third booster dose.

The increased response was seen in people who had previously been vaccinated with Vaxzevria or an mRNA vaccine, the drugmaker said, adding that it would submit the data to regulators around the world given the urgent need for boosters.

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AstraZeneca developed the vaccine with researchers at the University of Oxford, and laboratory studies last month found that a three-dose treatment of Vaxzevria was effective -pharmaceuticals / astrazeneca-shot-third- dose-works-against-omicron-study-2021-12-23 against the new, rapidly spreading variant.

The data is the first published by the company from its testing of its vaccine boosters.

The company said it is adding to the growing evidence that supports a third dose of its vaccine, regardless of the primary vaccination schedule.

“These important studies show that a third dose of Vaxzevria after two initial doses of the same vaccine, or after mRNA or inactivated vaccines, strongly boosts immunity against COVID-19,” said the head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, Andrew Pollard, in a statement.

A major UK trial in December found that AstraZeneca’s vaccine increased antibodies when given as a booster after the initial vaccination with its own vaccine or that of Pfizer, based on mRNA technology.

However, the study concluded that the mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna gave the biggest boost to antibodies when given as a booster dose.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Jason Neely)