Walgreens health professional Luis S. Solano prepares a dose of Pfizer BioNTec’s vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on February 22, 2021 at the Victor Walchirk Apartments in Evanston, Illinois.

Kamil Krzaczynski | Reuters

Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Monday that they had submitted early-stage clinical trial data to the Food and Drug Administration as part of their U.S. filing to approve a Covid vaccine booster for all 16 and older – not just people with weak immune systems.

In a phase 1 study, a booster dose of the vaccine produced “significantly higher neutralizing antibodies” against the original coronavirus strain and the beta and delta variants, the companies said in a press release. Study participants received a third dose of the two-dose vaccine around eight to nine months after the second vaccination, they said.

“The data we’ve seen so far suggest that a third dose of our vaccine elicits antibody levels well in excess of those on the primary two-dose schedule,” said Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO. “We are excited to provide this data to the FDA as we continue to work together to address the evolving challenges of this pandemic.”

The companies said the results of the late-stage trial evaluating the third dose are expected shortly and will also be presented to the FDA and other regulatory agencies worldwide.

The announcement by the drug manufacturer comes according to federal health officials Friday approved Giving Covid booster shots of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to Americans with compromised immune systems, including cancer and HIV patients, and people who have had organ transplants.

New data from the US suggests that immunocompromised individuals do not generate adequate immune responses after receiving two doses of a Covid vaccine.

The latest data from Pfizer investigates the booster’s safety and immune response in people with otherwise healthy immune systems.

Federal health officials are not currently recommending booster doses for the general public, but Dr. White House Chief Media Officer Anthony Fauci said: Everyone is “likely” to need a booster at some point.

Covid vaccine manufacturers including Pfizer and Modern, have repeatedly argued that everyone will need a booster dose at some point and possibly additional doses each year, just like seasonal flu.

Pfizer has cited data from Israel where state officials said last month the two-dose vaccine was only 39% effective against the disease, which attributed the drop in performance to the highly contagious Delta variant. When Pfizer submitted its original application to the FDA in December, it said its vaccinations were about 95% effective at preventing Covid infections.

The vaccine is still considered highly effective against serious illness, hospital admissions and deaths, according to Israeli health officials.