Moderna announced Monday that its booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine can increase antibody levels by 37-fold and maintains efficacy against the Omicron variant.
Doubling the booster dose from 50 micrograms to 100 micrograms generated even more protection, the company said. However, the higher dose was associated with slightly more frequent adverse reactions, according to the company’s data, which hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed.
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Moderna also said it is working on an Omicron-specific booster which could begin clinical trials early next year. The two-dose regimen of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to have waning protection against Omicron, prompting the company to advocate for boosters.
So far, data indicates that Omicron is far more contagious than prior strains, but also less severe. COVID-19 cases have been spiking in certain areas of the United States, but the accompanying increase in deaths has not been nearly as significant. (RELATED: ‘The Emergency Is Over’: Democratic Gov. Jared Polis Explains Why He Won’t Bring Back Mask Mandates)
The surge in cases in Gauteng, South Africa that began with the discovery of the Omicron variant has already begun to subside, one doctor in the region said Monday. Still, some American jurisdictions have responded to the spread of the new variant by re-imposing lockdown measures and mask mandates.