Moderna says booster of its Covid vaccine appears to protect against omicron

There are empty bottles of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine in a vaccination center.

Moderna said Monday that a third dose of its vaccine appears to provide protection against the omicron variant.

Moderna said that its authorized booster can boost neutralizing antibody levels 37 times higher than before.

The booster shot was more effective if it was a double doze of 100 micrograms rather than 50. Preliminary data shows that a 100 microgram booster dose increased neutralizing antibody levels by approximately 83-fold.

Moderna said that the 100 microgram dose of the booster shot was generally safe and well-tolerated.
The company's vaccine was found to be less effective against the fast-spreading omicron variant without a booster.

The booster candidate should enter clinical trials in early 2022, the company said.

The company decided to focus on its current Covid-19 booster rather than immediately developing a variant-specific vaccine because of its confidence in its current offering and the speed of omicron's spread.

Moderna will use a booster dose of mRNA-1273 in order to defend against Omicron because of the strength of the mRNA-1273 and the speed at which the Omicron variant is spreading.

Moderna will continue to develop an Omicron-specific variant vaccine that it expects to advance into clinical trials in early 2022.

Peer reviewed data has not yet been received.

The World Health Organization warns that omicron cases can double every 1.5 to 3 days in areas of local spread. The U.K. recorded its highest daily case levels since the start of the Pandemic in the last week, while the Netherlands imposed a full-scale lockdown on Sunday.