Moderna announced Monday that a booster dose of its coronavirus vaccine dramatically increased antibody levels against the Omicron Variant, amid mounting alarm about the virus’s fast spread in the United States.
The company’s vaccine, mRNA-1273, was shown to be considerably less effective against the fast-spreading omicron form without a booster, yielding low neutralizing antibodies.
According to preliminary data, its half-dosage booster injection enhanced antibody levels against Omicron compared to levels observed in fully vaccinated people who did not get a booster, and a bigger sized dose of the booster enhances antibody levels even more.
Federal health experts cautioned this weekend, ahead of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, that the United States might see a spike in coronavirus infections in the coming days. New York State has recorded record case counts for three days in a row, and officials say the rest of the country may soon follow suit.
When Omicron was discovered, scientists and health officials raised worry that the variation may avoid immunizations because of too many mutations in the spike protein targeted by the injections.
Research demonstrating that Omicron is less responsive to two doses of Moderna’s and other Covid-19 vaccines added to their concerns.
However, it was also said that a double dosage of 100 micrograms of the booster injection, rather than the permitted 50 micrograms, was substantially more effective. According to early data, a 100 microgram booster dosage boosted neutralizing antibody levels “roughly 83-fold,” according to announcement.
According to the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based business, the approved dosage of its booster injection elevated levels of immune-system agents known as neutralizing antibodies against Omicron 37 times higher than pre-boost levels.
Together with comparable findings from Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE, Moderna’s findings imply that Covid-19 vaccinations developed to combat the virus strain that was prevalent in 2020 may still stand up effectively against highly modified forms such as Omicron.