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Booster Shot Effective Against Omicron, Moderna Says

The company says a third dose of their COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the latest variant of the disease.

As concern grows about the flood of COVID-19 cases tied to the Omicron Variant of the disease, Moderna announced positive boosters of their vaccine are effective against the new strain.

According to a news release, the third, half-dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine increased neutralizing antibody levels against Omicron 37 times compared to before the booster, while a whole third dose increases neutralizing antibody levels 83 times their pre-boost levels.

“The dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant is concerning to all. However, these data showing that the currently authorized Moderna COVID-19 booster can boost neutralizing antibody levels 37-fold higher than pre-boost levels are reassuring,” Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, says in the release.

“To respond to this highly transmissible variant, Moderna will continue to rapidly advance an Omicron-specific booster candidate into clinical testing in case it becomes necessary in the future. We will also continue to generate and share data across our booster strategies with public health authorities to help them make evidence-based decisions on the best vaccination strategies against SARS-CoV-2.”

Previously, the CDC recommended the COVID vaccines made by Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. for use in adults over Johnson & Johnson’s shot because of a link to rare, but serious blood clots.

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The CDC’s 15-member Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted unanimously in favor of the recommendation. In addition, Johnson & Johnson’s fact sheet will be updated to warn about the rare clotting syndrome.

“Today’s updated recommendation emphasizes CDC’s commitment to provide real-time scientific information to the American public,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “I continue to encourage all Americans to get vaccinated and boosted.”

The risk of the vaccine-linked clotting condition—thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome—may be higher than previously thought, especially for women. In mid-June, the rate among women with the disorder was 4.86 per million J&J doses, while as of early December, it was 5.84 per million.

This article originally appeared on Medical Economics.

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