Moderna: Dual variant booster with beta more effective against omicron than current formula

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Moderna on Tuesday said new clinical data had found that its bivalent COVID-19 booster shot was more effective against all variants of concern when compared to its currently available coronavirus vaccine.

Moderna’s CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement that its bivalent vaccine shot had induced a greater antibody response than the vaccine that is currently available, sold as Spikevax. The bivalent vaccine combines Moderna’s original COVID-19 vaccine with a beta variant specific vaccine.

“Our latest bivalent booster candidate, mRNA-1273.214, which combines the currently authorized Moderna COVID-19 booster with our Omicron-specific booster candidate, remains our lead candidate for the fall 2022 Northern Hemisphere booster​,” said Bancel. “We believe that a bivalent booster vaccine, if authorized, would create a new tool as we continue to respond to emerging variants.”

Moderna said that its bivalent dose induced up to a 2.2-fold increase in neutralizing antibodies against the omicron variant one month after administration when compared to its original shot. The newer dose induced a 2.15-fold increase when compared to the currently available shot at 8 months post-administration.

According to Moderna, the newer shot was well tolerated by 300 study participants who received 50 microgram doses as well as 595 participants who received 100 microgram doses. The results of the study have yet to be peer-reviewed.

The company added that it expects initial data on its omicron-specific vaccine to be available in the second quarter of this year.

Tags beta variant booster MOderna omicron omicron variant Stéphane Bancel vaccine

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