Moderna’s Omicron Booster increases antibody levels

PPublic health experts have long warned that a new vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus may be needed — especially now that the Omicron variant and its many sub-variants are causing it. majority of new COVID-19 cases around the world.

There may soon be one. Moderna, the company that makes one of three COVID-19 vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has published results from a study of a new vaccine that researchers have found. The company’s science has developed targeting both the original virus strain as well as Omicron. Combining the two strains in a booster dose produced an average of eight times the levels of virus-neutralizing antibodies targeted against both Omicron and the original virus in vaccinated individuals, compared with those who did not. Boosted with the original vaccine, the company report in a press release.

Scientists have said that the initial two-dose injection and its booster go on to significantly protect people from severe illness and hospitalization, even against the different variations that have emerged since the shots. injection is developed. But the levels of antibodies that those vaccinated against Omicron produced were generally lower than those made against the original virus. In response, vaccine manufacturers including Moderna have developed a combination, or dual value, vaccine to enhance protection against Omicron. The company’s research found that targeting both the parent strain and the Omicron strain resulted in a stronger immune response.

“We believe the data clearly show that dual vaccines are significantly superior in providing nullification protection,” Moderna president Dr. Stephen Hoge said on a conference call. to announce the results. “To more accurately reflect the cyclic flow [of the virus]The data clearly show that it is time to update the vaccine to improve durability and level of protection for the coming fall.”

Read more: Here’s what to know about COVID-19 Booster Shots for kids

Whether the original vaccine needs to be changed to one such as the one that targets Omicron will be decided by the FDA. Over the next few weeks, Moderna plans to submit its latest data to the agency for approval of its dual-value vaccine as a booster dose, which could be recommended for everyone in the fall. This is the company’s second combination vaccine; Earlier this spring, Moderna . scientists similarly encouraging data release showed that vaccines targeting both the original SARS-CoV-2 strain and the Beta variant produced higher levels of virus-neutralizing antibodies against several different strains of the virus, including the Original, Beta and Omicron.

However, Hoge notes that the data only lasted for up to a month after the booster dose, so the company is continuing to monitor study participants to monitor the durability of that protective measure. “The real goal is to get six or nine months of protection, to get you through the respiratory season,” he said of the fall and winter, when viruses like the flu and coronavirus tend to circulate, he said. more as people spend more time indoors. Currently, protection from the initial Moderna booster dose fades after about four to five months, which is why health officials recommend that all people who have been immunized receive at least a booster dose four to five months after completing the main two-dose regimen, and some high-risk individuals will be boosted again with an additional dose.

The combination booster has yet to be tested in children, but Hoge said those studies will now begin, based on the booster’s safety and effectiveness data in adults. The FDA has yet to review Moderna’s application for licensing of a parent vaccine in children; the The agency’s advisory committee will meet on June 14 and 15 to review Moderna’s data on children’s COVID-19 vaccines to make recommendations. The same committee will meet on June 28 to discuss New formulation of COVID-19 vaccinesuch as Moderna’s Omicron combination booster, should be recommended as a fall booster for adults, and whether the combination vaccine should replace the original vaccine for unvaccinated people prevent or not.

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