Moderna reports positive early results for booster shots against COVID-19 variants

Moderna reports positive early results for booster shots against COVID-19 variants
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Moderna on Wednesday reported positive early results from booster shots of its vaccine targeted at variants of the coronavirus.

The company said both a booster shot of its original vaccine, and a booster shot of a modified vaccine specifically targeted at a variant, increased the neutralizing antibody response of participants in a phase 2 trial.

The company said the results are a positive development as it develops booster shots in case they are needed against variants of the virus.

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Specifically, the booster shots showed positive immune responses against the original virus as well as the B.1.351 variant first found in South Africa and the P.1 variant first found in Brazil.

Moderna also tested a modified vaccine specifically targeted at the B.1.351 variant, which it said produced higher levels of antibodies than the original vaccine against that variant.

“As we seek to defeat the ongoing pandemic, we remain committed to being proactive as the virus evolves," said Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel. "We are encouraged by these new data, which reinforce our confidence that our booster strategy should be protective against these newly detected variants."

The booster shots are intended to be given to people who have already been vaccinated as a way to pump up the immune response to deal with variants if need be.

Pfizer has also been exploring the need for booster shots.