Good News on Moderna Booster

Early lab results suggests third shot provides significant protection against omicron
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2021 8:33 AM CST
Good News on Moderna Booster
Medical staff and volunteers prepare shots of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine a vaccination center in Ramsgate, England, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021.   (Leon Neal, Pool via AP)

(Newser) – Lab results from Moderna add to health officials' chorus on omicron: Get a booster. The company said Monday that preliminary results suggests a third shot of its vaccine provides significant protection against the new variant. The usual half-dose booster raised antibody levels 37-fold, while a full-dose booster—typically given to the immunocompromised— raised levels 83-fold, reports CNN. The results are early, coming out of the lab rather than from more definitive clinical trials, notes the Wall Street Journal. Still, the company's chief medical officer tells the Washington Post that the boosters "should provide some good level of protection as we go into the holiday season."

Earlier this month, Pfizer announced that its booster similarly provided extra protection. Omicron is on track to become the dominant strain in the US, with roughly half of all cases now attributed to the variant. NIH director Francis Collins predicted Sunday that the US might soon be logging 1 million new COVID cases a day because of this new surge. “The big question is, are those million cases going to be sick enough to need health care and especially hospitalization?” she said. “We’re just holding our breath to see how severe this will be.” Moderna and other drug-makers also are working on an omicron-specific booster should it become necessary. (Read more Moderna stories.)

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