| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Moderna says booster COVID-19 vaccine appears protective against omicron

Moderna Inc said on Monday that in laboratory tests, a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine looked to be protective against the fast-spreading omicron variety, and that the current version of the vaccine would remain Moderna’s “first line of defense against omicron.”

The vaccine developer stated that the choice to focus on the existing vaccine, mRNA-1273, was influenced in part by the rapid dissemination of the recently identified variation. The business stated that it will continue to develop an omicron vaccine and intends to enter clinical trials early next year.

In premarket action, Moderna’s stock was up roughly 6.5 percent at $314.42.

“What we have right now is 1273,” said Dr. Paul Burton, Chief Medical Officer of Moderna, in an interview.

“It’s really effective and extremely safe.” I believe it will safeguard individuals over the next holiday season and the winter months, when we will see the highest omicron pressure.”

According to the business, a two-dose course of their vaccine produced modest levels of neutralizing antibodies against the omicron form, but a 50-microgram booster dosage raised neutralizing antibodies 37-fold. A 100 microgram booster dose of the same vaccination increased antibody levels even more – more than 80 times higher than pre-boost levels.

The unpublished findings analyzed blood from persons who had received the vaccination against a bogus virus made to look like the omicron variety. It’s similar to the findings highlighted most recently by top US infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci.

Burton stated that it would be up to governments and regulators to determine if they want the increased degree of protection that a 100-microgram dose would provide.

The company said that the 100-microgram dose was generally safe and well tolerated, although there was a trend toward slightly more frequent adverse reactions.

Moderna also tested the vaccine’s effectiveness compared to its prototype boosters that target multiple previous variants of concern, and said the results were similar.

US regulators authorized the 50-microgram booster of Moderna’s vaccine in October. The first two shots of Moderna’s vaccine are both 100 micrograms.

The 100-microgram dosage was usually safe and well tolerated, according to the firm, albeit there was a tendency toward somewhat more frequent adverse responses.

Moderna also tested the vaccine’s efficacy against its prototype boosters, which target many prior strains of concern, and found comparable results.

In October, US officials approved a 50-microgram booster of Moderna’s vaccine. Moderna’s vaccine contains 100 micrograms in the first two doses.

The Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines have both been related to uncommon occurrences of cardiac inflammation, particularly in young males. Several studies have revealed that Moderna’s vaccine is more likely to trigger cardiac inflammation.

Omicron, a highly infectious strain discovered last month in southern Africa and Hong Kong, has spread over the world and has been recorded in 89 countries, according to the World Health Organization.

It said that in regions with community transmission, the number of omicron cases doubles in 1.5 to 3 days, but that much about the variation remained unclear, including the severity of the sickness it produces.


  • Reuters