Pfizer and BioNTech have released new data on their bivalent Covid-19 boosters, which suggest that they’re more effective at preventing infection from recent Omicron subvariants compared to the original vaccine.
The companies have said that neutralizing bodies for the virus—ones that target the current primary strains BA.4 and BA.5—is four times higher in those over the age of 55 for those who received the bivalent booster compared to those who received a monovalent booster.
The bivalent booster, which was authorized by the government at the end of August, targets the original Covid-19 virus as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 variants, which currently make up the majority of cases in the United States. However, new subvariants, including BQ. 1.1 and BA.4.6, the former of which is a descent of B.A. 5, have already started to take over.
It’s important to note, however, that the new data only takes into account what the bivalent booster does to antibody levels in those who received the vaccine. It was not tested whether or not those who received the bivalent boosters were less likely to become infected with the SARS-2 virus compared to those who opted for one of the older generation boosters.