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BioNTech says 'no evidence' its jabs need adapting for COVID-19 variants

BioNTech says 'no evidence' its jabs need adapting for COVID-19 variants

FILE PHOTO: A health worker gets a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Seoul, South Korea on Mar 10, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji)

BERLIN: German firm BioNTech said on Monday (May 10) that the COVID-19 vaccine it developed with Pfizer does not require any modifications at the moment to protect against variants of the virus.

"To date, there is no evidence that an adaptation of BioNTech's current COVID-19 vaccine against key identified emerging variants is necessary," the company said in a statement.

Nevertheless, in preparations for a need at some point to make tweaks to its current vaccine, the company said it began tests in March on a "modified, variant-specific version" of its jabs.

READ: BioNTech co-founder 'confident' vaccine works against Indian COVID-19 variant

"The aim of this study is to explore the regulatory pathway that BioNTech and Pfizer would pursue if SARS-CoV-2 were to change enough to require an updated vaccine," it said.

An assessment is also ongoing on the impact of a possible third dose in prolonging immunity and in protecting against variants.

BioNTech chief executive Ugur Sahin had said in April that the vaccine works against the Indian variant.

READ: BioNTech to produce mRNA vaccines in Singapore, its new regional headquarters

READ: BioNTech expects vaccine trial results for babies by September

The BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine was the first to win authorisation in the West, and has since been deployed in dozens of countries worldwide.

It is now supplying more than 90 countries worldwide, and is expecting to ramp up its production to up to 3 billion doses by the end of the year from 2.5 billion doses expected previously.

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Source: AFP/aj

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