US NEWS Moderna says redesigned COVID-19 vaccine booster may work better...

Moderna says redesigned COVID-19 vaccine booster may work better against variants

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Preliminary results from a trial of Moderna’s updated COVID-19 booster shot show even more efficiency against variants, the pharmaceutical company announced Tuesday.

The bivalent mRNA booster “demonstrated superiority against beta, delta and omicron variants” after one month and against the beta and omicron variants after six months, according to Moderna. Those with the new version saw more than twice the level of antibodies against the omicron variant as the original.

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“We believe that a bivalent booster vaccine, if authorized, would create a new tool as we continue to respond to emerging variants,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement.

Vials of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Both strengths of the shot were “generally well tolerated” in all participants, with similar side effects and rates of effects as the original booster shot.

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The new shot may also work better against variants not specifically targeted, Moderna said, creating “a new tool as Moderna responds to emerging variants.”

Moderna plans to have the updated booster available for the fall across the northern hemisphere.

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration authorized a second booster shot of the Pfizer and Moderna shots for everyone 50 years of age and older. Dr. Ashish K. Jha, the new White House Covid-19 response coordinator, said Sunday on Fox News that those 60 and older should get the booster, citing “compelling” new data out of Israel.

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