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Moderna Booster Vaccine Claims to be Effective Against Omicron Variants

| 21.12.21 |


The pharmaceutical company Moderna said its booster vaccine was able to increase antibody levels against the Omicron variant of Covid. Moderna claims that preliminary data from laboratory tests show that injecting a vaccine dose of 50 micrograms, which the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends for a booster vaccine, can increase antibodies by 37-fold.

This is certainly good news for the whole community, because since the B.1.1.529 variant or the Omicron variant was identified in South Africa, this new variant of the corona virus is considered to be very quickly transmitted. Meanwhile, the researchers also found that a dose of 100 micrograms of the Moderna booster vaccine increased antibodies 83-fold. However, Moderna is still developing a special third dose vaccine to prevent the Omicron variant of Covid. If later approved, initial clinical trials will be conducted in 2022.

“The dramatic increase in Covid-19 cases of the Omicron variant worries everyone. However, these data (the effectiveness of the Moderna booster vaccine) are reassuring," said Moderna CEO Stphane Bancel as reported by NBC News. "To deal with this highly contagious variant, Moderna will soon put its Omicron-specific booster candidate into clinical testing if needed in the future." In addition to the vaccine for the Omicron variant, Moderna said so far the mRNA-1273 vaccine will continue to be the first line of defense against the Omicron variant.

“What we have right now is (mRNA vaccine) 1273. It's very effective, and very safe. I think (the booster vaccine) will protect people over the coming holiday period and through these winter months, when we will see the most severe stress from Omicron," said Dr Paul Burton, Moderna's chief medical officer.

Moderna booster vaccine testing

The pharmaceutical company has tested the blood of 20 people receiving the Moderna booster vaccine against pseudoviruses or viruses that are modified and engineered to resemble the Omicron variant.

Moderna will then test for antibodies that are measured after day 29 of administering the third dose of vaccine. Meanwhile, President of Moderna, Dr Stephen Hoge said that his party did not currently plan to obtain a booster vaccine license with a dose of 100 micrograms. However, giving the booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine is considered reasonable if it is given to vulnerable groups such as health workers. Both Hoge and Burton said the decision to give the booster vaccine was left to the government to decide whether they wanted the maximum level of protection at a higher dose. Meanwhile, these data have not been reviewed by other experts. However, regulators in the United States authorized the administration of a 50 microgram booster for the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine in October.

As the coronavirus continues to develop, Hoge said it is possible his company could develop a Covid-19 vaccine that targets three or even four strains of the virus in a single shot. For example, this year's flu shot contains four types of influenza virus. In addition, the booster vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech is also said to be able to prevent exposure to the Omicron variant. The researchers revealed that very little information is available about how severe viral infections can lead to disease severity, or how well new variants can evade vaccine immunity. Pfizer-BioNTech is also in the process of testing a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine in a trial in children ages 6 months to children under 5 years.

This was done after they found two doses of the vaccine did not appear to produce a strong enough immune response in children.

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