Moderna starts testing booster of COVID-19 vaccine targeting Omicron

Jan 27, 2022: Moderna Inc. has begun a mid-stage study, testing the booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, specifically designed to target the Omicron corona virus, one day after rival Pfizer Inc launched a similar experiment.

The company said that while the third shot of its original Corona virus vaccine boosted neutral antibodies against omicron at lower doses, their levels dropped six months after the booster dose was administered.

However, the neutralization of antibodies was identifiable in all participants, Moderna said. While studies have indicated that Omicron results in less severe COVID-19 than previous waves, the strain has become increasingly prevalent in many parts of the world, increasing the risk of infection and health care and increasing tension in the care system.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech launched a clinical trial on Tuesday to test a new version of their vaccine, specifically designed for the Omicron variant.

Moderna said they would study specific Omicron booster for adults 18 and older. It has promised to share its data from the trial with public health leaders so that they can make evidence-based decisions on the best booster strategy against the corona virus.

Three studies, led by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, show that a third dose of the mRNA vaccine, such as Pfizer and Moderna, is key to fighting the Omicron variant.

Some countries have already begun giving additional booster doses, but a recent Israeli study found that when the fourth dose of the mRNA vaccine boosted antibodies, the levels were not high enough to prevent Omicron infection.

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