Updated Moderna COVID-19 vaccine contributes Omicron protection, company says – National

Updated Moderna COVID-19 vaccine contributes Omicron protection, company says – National

Moderna‘s experimental COVID-19 vaccine that combines its original shot with protection against the Omicron variant appears to work, the company announced Wednesday.

COVID-19 vaccine makers are studying updated boosters that might be offered in the fall to better protect people against future coronavirus surges.

Moderna’s preliminary study results show people given the combination shot experienced an eight-fold increase in virus-fighting antibodies capable of targeting the Omicron mutant, the company announced.

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COVID-19 booster shots will be a focus going forward, vaccine makers say

Today’s COVID-19 vaccines all are based on the original version of the coronavirus. They’re nevertheless providing strong protection against harsh disease, hospitalization and death already after the turn up of the super-contagious Omicron variant — especially if people have had a booster measure.

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

So U.S. regulators, and the World Health Organization, are considering whether to order a change in the vaccine recipe for a new round of booster shots in the fall — when cold weather and kids returning to school are expected to excursion however another surge.

9:26Inside Moderna: Making boosters and tracking variants

Inside Moderna: Making boosters and tracking variants – Oct 2, 2021

meaningful questions: How to make that change without losing the continued strong protection against COVID-19’s worst outcomes? And what’s the right variant to target?

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After the huge winter Omicron surge, that mutant’s genetically definite siblings now are the main threats, including one that’s fueling the current U.S. wave of infections.

The Food and Drug Administration has set a meeting in late June for its scientific advisers to argue those questions and estimate data from vaccine makers’ tests of possible new formulas. Pfizer also is studying a combination shot, what scientists call a bivalent vaccine.

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2:06Inside Moderna and its fight to stay ahead of the virus

Inside Moderna and its fight to stay ahead of the virus – Oct 1, 2021

Moderna said its new study found that a month after the combo shot, recipients harbored higher Omicron-fighting antibody levels – and cross-protection against other prior variants – than the original vaccine triggers. However, antibodies naturally wane so it’s not clear how long the protection against infection will last.

The study was performed in 437 people, and safety was similar to today’s boosters, Moderna said. The results were announced in a press release and haven’t experienced scientific review.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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