Pfizer announced on Tuesday that they and partner BioNTech are starting trials of an Omicron-based booster. This is long overdue. A variant-based booster should have been tested and distributed long ago.  At the least a Delta-based booster should have been pursued. Why didn’t Pfizer base its original vaccine on D614G?  The Wuhan variant never spread outside of China. The earliest days of the pandemic in Italy, Spain and New York was dominated by the D614G variant and this was known well before vaccine trials were underway. Throughout this pandemic regulators and other governing bodies neglected their duty to hold companies accountable for ensuring public health and capitalizing on the mRNA platform’s central feature: Flexibility. Despite their negligence in leveraging mRNA technologies for a speedy response to attack potential variants, governments around the world are establishing one of the greatest (and most dangerous) economic monopolies in the history of the pharmaceutical industry.

Pfizer Failed to Effectively Embrace the true benefits of the mRNA Platform

Pfizer should have used the easily adaptable mRNA platform and substituted the D614G sequence when it became clear that variant was driving the global pandemic. The Alpha variant’s global dominance may have also justified a variant booster update. Instead, Pfizer relied on a mismatched antigen and tried to reach similar efficacy by repeatedly boosting against new variants. Immunologists know that waning antibodies is the expected response to any antigen. As data soon confirmed, the boosters’ protection was short-lived and titers typically dropped off again within three to five months. Additionally, as new variants exhibited more antigenic drift the vaccines’ efficacy precipitously declined. It became more difficult to mask the drop in efficacy by a short-term increase in AB titers. 

Omicron’s appearance resulted in an even more dramatic acceleration in mutations and reduction in vaccine efficacy. This forced vaccine manufacturers to shift away from their failed strategy of boosting with a mismatched antigen because it had become so obviously indefensible (although they still attempted to push additional boosters in the face of the Omicron onslaught). Had mRNA-based vaccines been updated with Delta the drop in efficacy from Omicron would not have been as severe.

Pfizer Pics Monetization over Public Health

Now that it’s abundantly clear to everyone that the two-year-old vaccine – initially billed as a new technology to iterate ahead of mutant strains – must be updated, Pfizer/BioNTech finally announced they will begin trials with a newly formulated Omicron booster. Pfizer’s announcement, however, reveals its main priority is monetization and not public health or safety. This is evident as they refer to the Omicron-based booster as a “vaccine” – rather than a booster.Subscribe to the Trialsitenews “COVID-19” ChannelNo spam – we promise

This multibillion-dollar, multinational government contractor is choosing its words carefully. The reason the word booster is dropped is clear from the details.

The study will evaluate up to 1,420 participants across the three cohorts:

Cohort #1 (n = 615): Received two doses of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 90-180 days prior to enrollment; in the study, participants will receive one or two doses of the Omicron-based vaccine.

Cohort #2 (n = 600): Received three doses of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 90-180 days prior to enrollment; in the study, participants will receive one dose of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or the Omicron-based vaccine.

Cohort #3 (n=205): Vaccine-naïve participants will receive three doses of the Omicron-based vaccine.

While two Omicron booster doses will raise AB titers higher than a single booster dose that doesn’t mean it’s the safest or more efficacious approach. Nevertheless, if they show data that it boosts titers higher and submit for an emergency use authorization, they will make money per dose and two doses will double their revenue.

In their third cohort three doses of their Omicron based vaccine will be given to previously unvaccinated subjects. 

Pfizer is swinging for the fences. Although why stop at three doses?  Why not four or five?  Pfizer is following a simple algorithm: more doses equals more revenue.

As Charlie Munger – who knew something about monopolies – famously said, “Show me the incentive, and I’ll show you the outcome.”

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