Moderna claims its booster shot is effective against Omicron

Washington: Moderna, a US pharmaceutical company, announced on Monday that its booster shot increases neutralising antibodies against the new vaccine-evading Omicron variant. According to the company, a 50 microgram booster dose increased neutralising antibody levels against Omicron by approximately 37-fold compared to pre-boost levels.

"Everyone is concerned about the dramatic increase in Covid-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant. However, data demonstrating that the currently approved Moderna Covid-19 booster can boost neutralising antibody levels 37-fold higher than pre-boost levels is reassuring "In the statement, Stephane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna, said.

The company further claims that increasing the booster dose to 100 micrograms increased neutralising titers 83-fold above pre-boost levels. The findings have not yet been peer-reviewed. The data will be shared with government health officials, according to the company. While the 100 microgram booster dose was "generally safe and well-tolerated," there was a "trend toward slightly more frequent adverse reactions" when compared to the approved dose.

The company also stated that it will continue to develop an Omicron-specific booster candidate, which is expected to enter clinical trials in early 2022. The hyper-mutated Omicron variant of concern has spread to approximately 90 countries, raising serious concerns about vaccine efficacy and the risk of re-infection.

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