Moderna Says Updated COVID Shot Boosts Omicron Protection – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Moderna’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine, which combines its original shot with protection against the Omicron variant, appears to be working, the company announced Wednesday.

COVID-19 vaccine makers are studying updated boosters that could be offered in the fall to better protect people from future coronavirus waves.

Moderna’s preliminary study results show that people given the combination vaccine experienced an eight-fold increase in virus-fighting antibodies able to target the Omicron mutant, the company said.

Today’s COVID-19 vaccines are all based on the original version of the coronavirus. They still offer strong protection against serious illness, hospitalizations, and death even after the emergence of the super-contagious Omicron variant — especially when people have received a booster dose.

But the virus continues to rapidly mutate in ways that allow it to bypass some of the vaccines’ protections and cause milder infections.

As a result, US regulators and the World Health Organization are considering whether to order a vaccine recipe change for a new round of booster shots in the fall – when cold weather and children returning to school are expected to spur another surge.

Key Questions: How to make this change without losing continued strong protection against the worst of COVID-19? And what is the correct target variant? After the massive omicron surge over the winter, this mutant’s genetically distinct siblings are now the main threat, including one that’s fueling the current US infection wave.

The Food and Drug Administration scheduled a meeting with its scientific advisors in late June to discuss these issues and review data from vaccine manufacturers’ tests on potential new formulas. Pfizer is also studying a combination syringe, which scientists are calling a bivalent vaccine.

Moderna said its new study found that recipients had higher Omicron-fighting antibody levels — and cross-protection against other earlier variants — than the original vaccine triggers a month after the combo shot. However, antibodies naturally decline, so it is not clear how long protection against infection lasts.

The study was conducted on 437 people, and the safety was similar to today’s boosters, Moderna said. The results were announced in a press release and have not been subjected to scientific verification.

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https://whdh.com/news/moderna-says-updated-covid-shot-boosts-omicron-protection/ Moderna Says Updated COVID Shot Boosts Omicron Protection – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Nate Jones

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