Moderna Company Set To Start Trial For Testing Omicron Booster Shot
According to new reports, Moderna, Inc. stated on Wednesday that it has begun a mid-stage study to test a possible booster dose of the COVID vaccine that specifically targets the omicron variant of the coronavirus, just a day after pharmaceutical rival Pfizer Inc started a similar trial.
The company stated that while a third shot of its original COVID vaccine increased neutralizing antibodies against the variant at the lower dose, the levels experience a decline six months after the booster dose was administered.
“However, neutralizing antibodies remained detectable in all participants, Moderna said,” a report said.
While studies have indicated that omicron results in a less severe COVID-19 than seen during previous waves, the variant has quickly become dominant in many parts of the world, driving up infections and straining healthcare systems.
The variant currently accounts for 99.9% of the COVID-19 cases in the Unites States.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech started a clinical trial on Tuesday to test a new version of their vaccine specifically tailored to the omicron variant.
Moderna said it would study its omicron-specific booster in adults aged 18 years and older.
It would test the booster in individuals who received only the two-dose primary series of Moderna’s original vaccine, mRNA-1273, and also in those who received the primary series and a booster dose of the same vaccine, the company said.
The company is planning to enroll a total of 300 participants in each of the two groups involved in the study.
By the time a vaccine is even ready, it’s likely the vast majority of the country will probably have already contracted the illness.