JAKARTADAILY.ID - Moderna announced Monday that a booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine should provide protection against the fast-spreading omicron strain, as lab testing revealed that the half-dose booster injection raised the number of neutralizing antibodies capable of combating omicron by 37 times.
According to Reuters on Tuesday (December 21, 2021), Moderna stated that it will continue to develop a vaccine to guard against Omicron and aims to begin clinical trials early next year.
"What we have available right now is 1273," Moderna's chief medical officer, Dr. Paul Burton, said in an interview. "It's highly effective, and it's extremely safe. I think it will protect people through the coming holiday period and through these winter months, when we're going to see the most severe pressure of Omicron."
A two-dose course of the company's vaccine produced modest levels of neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variation, but a 50-microgram booster dosage raised neutralizing antibodies against the variant 37 times.
A 100-microgram booster - the same dose as the first doses - boosted neutralizing antibodies by more than 80 percent. However, Moderna did not say if it expects its two-dose regimen will minimize Omicron-related hospitalizations or fatalities.
Other studies have demonstrated that a "reasonable and robust" T cell response is maintained against the variant, according to Moderna President Stephen Hoge, which might indicate protection against severe illness. The immune system's T cells detect and eradicate virus-infected cells.
According to Hoge, it may not be essential for many people to raise antibody levels over the 50-microgram dosage. Governments, on the other hand, may opt for a higher-dose version to provide a higher level of protection.