Previous clinical data has shown that the vaccine also generates a strong response to the EG.5 and FL.1.5.1 variants.
Clinical trial data from research assay has shown that Moderna’s updated COVID-19 vaccine generates a strong immune response in humans against the BA.2.86 variant, according to a press release from the pharmaceutical company.1
The vaccine, which is pending approval from the FDA for the fall 2023 season, demonstrated an 8.7-fold increase in neutralizing antibodies against the BA.2.86 variant. Previous clinical data has shown that the vaccine also generates a strong response to other circulating variants, including EG.5 and FL.1.5.1.
The CDC is currently tracking the BA.2.86 variant, which has been discovered in human or wastewater samples in Canada, Denmark, the UK, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and Thailand. According to an initial risk assessment released by the public health agency last month, BA.2.86 comprises less than 1% of circulating SARS-CoV-2 over the past two weeks in the US.2 The CDC also said it was too early to assess the severity of illness or transmissibility of the COVID-19 variant.
The majority of new COVID-19 cases in the US are from the EG.5 and FL.1.5.1, according to data from the CDC. In the week ending September 2, EG.5 and FL.1.5.1 made up 21.5% and 14.5% of new cases, respectively.3
Moderna said that it has shared the new vaccine data with regulators and has submitted it for peer review publication.
"These results demonstrate that our updated COVID-19 vaccine generates a strong human immune response against the highly mutated BA.2.86 variant,” Stephen Hoge, MD, president of Moderna, said in a release. “Taken together with our previously communicated results showing a similarly effective response against EG.5 and FL.1.5.1 variants, these data confirm that our updated COVID-19 vaccine will continue to be an important tool for protection as we head into the fall vaccination season.”