New booster improves protection against Omicron variant

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Moderna’s new Covid vaccine is said to boost protection against Omicron. It remains unclear how the vaccine will work against future versions.

U.S. biotechnology company Moderna has reported positive trial results with a new Corona vaccine designed to protect against both the original form of the virus and the Omicron variant. According to the company, the study involved 814 adults who had already received three doses of Moderna’s initial Corona vaccine, Spikevax. About half received the fourth dose of Spikevax, and the second group received one dose of the new so-called bivalent vaccine against both variants.

Study participants who received the new bivalent vaccine were found to have, on average, about 75 percent higher levels of antibodies to the Omicron variant than the comparison group. Their immune protection against the earlier Corona variants was also slightly higher than in the group that received the fourth dose of Spikevax.

“We are excited,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said of the study result. He said he expects the new Corona vaccine to be his company’s favorite for a Corona booster vaccine application for next fall. “We want to be ready for delivery as early as August,” Bancel announced in a call with investors.

Moderna acknowledged that the bivalent vaccine will produce slightly fewer antibodies against Omicron’s new BA.4 and BA.5 subtypes, which are now circulating. However, he said the protective efficacy is still higher than with booster vaccination with Spikevax. Moderna does not yet have data on the duration of protection from the new mRNA vaccine.

In the U.S., an FDA panel is scheduled to discuss the fall and winter booster vaccination strategy on June 28.

  • source: heute.at/picture:pixabay.com
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