Moderna Booster Trial Targeting Omicron Variant Begins

Moderna Booster Trial For Omicron, Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine ,Moderna Vaccines
On January 26, the United States biotech company Moderna announced that it has begun the clinical trials for a booster dose of vaccine which is specifically going to protect against the new variant of coronavirus, Omicron. The new variant was first identified by scientists in South Africa.

This trial by the company is going to consist of 600 adults. Amongst the participants, half have received two doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine six months ago, while the other half have received two doses and an authorised booster dose.

This new vaccine, which is under clinical trial, will be a vaccine for Omicron and will be evaluated as both third and fourth dose. The company notified that after six months of booster injection, the levels of neutralised antibodies against Omicron were reduced by six times. This result was observed after 29 days of taking the injection.

Suggested Reading: As Omicron Knocks On Our Doors, We Need To Prioritise Mental Wellbeing

The Chief Executive of Moderna, Stephane Bancel said, “We are assured by the antibody persistence against Omicron at six months after the currently authorised booster,” adding, “Nonetheless, given the long-term threat demonstrated by Omicron’s immune escape, we are advancing out Omircon-specific variant vaccine booster candidate and we are pleased to begin this part of our Phase 2 study.”

This statement comes a day after Pfizer and BioNTech stated that they have begun with the enrollment for a clinical trial of a vaccine, which is specifically against the Omicron variant.

Some countries have already started giving additional booster doses but a recent study by Israel shows that while the fourth dose of mRNA vaccine boosted antibodies, the levels are not high enough to protect from Omicron.

Recently, India has begun vaccinating the frontline workers and elderly people, above the age of 60 years with comorbidities with a third dose, also called the precautionary dose. This was announced by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on December 25 and the registration began on January 10. This was more of a walk-in vaccination and there was no need to enrol online.