The coronavirus pandemic has been a profoundly altering event for nations around the world, inspiring comprehensive measures to protect populations and ensure long-term recovery from short-term shocks to public health and the economy alike.
One of the crowning achievements to emerge from the worst of the pandemic was the swift development and roll-out of effective vaccines, which shielded vulnerable populations from a potentially deadly virus and curtailed the spread of subsequent variants. Vaccination remains one of the most powerful weapons against the persistent virus, and forms a central part of the UK, US and Australian governments’ plans to curb potential spikes in the autumn of 2022.
But with an ever-shifting virus producing new variants the world over, older vaccine designs are not as fit for purpose as they initially were. Vaccine manufacturers have been hard at work producing alternative vaccines that better suit today’s needs, with Pfizer and BioNTech leading the charge. The Australian government have recently granted a modified Pfizer booster vaccine ‘provisional determination’ for use in 12-15 year old citizens.
Pfizer’s Vaccine Improvements
The modified vaccine is a ‘bivalent’ vaccine, meaning it will be targeting two strains of coronavirus variant. The first is the original strain, responsible for the first wave of the pandemic in 2020. The second strain to be targeted is a version of the Omicron variant, known as BA.1. The Omicron variant is a less potent but much more highly transmissible version of the virus, which was responsible for the ‘fourth wave’ in the start of 2022.
The Pfizer vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, which works by ‘teaching’ a body’s immune system how to recognise and destroy specific pathogens. This is done by introducing the immune system to a new protein shape corresponding to the shape of the pathogen in question. The Pfizer modifications simply add new information, which enable immune systems to target more than one variant.
Impact on Pfizer’s Mission
The success of the modification will likely prove lucrative for Pfizer’s long-term mission, extending the pharmaceutical company’s brand recognition and demonstrating commitment to their chief mission of equity in medical innovation. The success of the booster will naturally improve their global market position, with stockbrokers and CFD trading retail traders alike benefitting from robust movement on the stock market.
The Coronavirus Pandemic in 2022
The booster vaccine remains an essential aspect of government public health initiatives owing to the continued prevalence of coronavirus globally. Despite heroic efforts to contain the virus in 2020 and 2021, it has continued to spread and evolve. Indeed, Australia has recently weathered another spike of the Omicron variant – and is already looking ahead to the potential attributes of the next variant. The worst of the coronavirus may be long past, but the world faces a long and uncertain future as the virus continues to evolve.