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Moderna says Omicron-targeted Covid-19 shot shows bette...

Covid-19

COVID-19

Moderna says Omicron-targeted Covid-19 shot shows better response

A nurse prepares a dose of Covid 19 vaccine in Bordeaux, France, 02 February 2022. EPA-EFE/CAROLINE BLUMBERG
By Reuters
09 Jun 2022 0

June 8 (Reuters) - Moderna Inc MRNA.O said on Wednesday a new version of its coronavirus vaccine produced a better immune response against Omicron than the original shot, as the drugmaker pursues a booster against a surge in infections in the fall season.

The vaccine, which was given as a fourth dose in a trial that enrolled more than 800 people, raised virus-neutralizing antibodies by eight-fold against Omicron.

The company said it plans to submit data on the vaccine, which targets Omicron as well as the original coronavirus strain, to regulators in the coming weeks and the doses could be available to consumers in late summer, sending its shares up 3%.

Moderna president Stephen Hoge said the company was in touch with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulators on the design of the study, which should make the filings a smooth process.

“We expect those to be relatively straightforward discussions and submissions,” he said.

It is not known if countries including the United States will adopt annual fall boosters, similar to the flu market.

“The data look quite comforting and convincing,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

He said while he expects the FDA to authorize the vaccine, it is not known if the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will recommend the shot for all adults or for a subset of the population such as older people.

Chief Executive Stephane Bancel said the company had been ramping up manufacturing of the new booster with an aim to be ready to ship as early as August.

In the study, which did not measure vaccine effectiveness, the booster, the vaccine generated greater antibodies against the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta variants compared to the original shot.

By Manas Mishra

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

Gallery

"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

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