Medical Technology

Moderna Booster Increases Protection Against Omicron

Editor’s Note: Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center has the most up-to-date COVID-19 news.

Moderna announced on Monday that they had increased the levels of antibodies against the Omicron variant by administering a booster dose to its COVID-19 vaccine.

In a news release, the company said that the 50-mg dose it uses for its mRNA vaccinewhich is half of the dose used in the first round of vaccinations – increased Omicron antibodies by 3700% for those who were examined within a month after receiving their third dose.

A 100-mg booster, which is the dose used in the initial series, raised the levels of antibodies by 8300% after the third dose. Moderna is still testing the 100-mg booster dose, however clinical trials have shown that the third dose of 100 mg appears to be safe.

The research included only 20 healthy people in each group. Researchers collected blood from each participant before they received their third shot. They assessed levels of neutralizing antibodies which are the body’s first line of defense against invaders. Levels of the specific kinds of antibodies that are able to block Omicron were low, according to the company.

But that all changed after the participants received a third dose as a booster. Researchers took blood samples from participants and compared it to the most important Omicron variant components in a laboratory. The levels of these antibodies had dramatically increased.

“The significant increase in cases of COVID-19 from the Omicron variant is concerning to all. However, these findings showing that the currently authorized Moderna COVID-19 booster is able to increase neutralizing antibody levels 37-fold more than levels prior to the booster are reassuring,” Stephane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna, said in an announcement.

The company stated that it will continue to push forward the development of next-generation vaccines specifically designed to combat variants of Delta and Omicron however, in the meantime, getting the current shots could aid.

This comes after Pfizer announced on Wednesday that the third dose of COVID-19 vaccination boosted Omicron neutralizing antibodies by 25-fold. It was enough to restore the level of protection most people were experiencing within a couple of days after receiving their initial two shots.

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