Moderna says its Omicron shots provide better protection than original COVID-19 jab

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Health Matters: New recommendations on fall boosters
Health Matters: New recommendations on fall boosters – Oct 8, 2022

Moderna Inc. said on Monday its Omicron-tailored vaccines produced a better immune response against the BA.4/5 sub-variants in a mid-to-late stage study, when given as a booster dose, compared with its original shot.

Data shows that both of Moderna’s Omicron-tailored shots, mRNA-1273.214 and mRNA-1273.222, produced a higher antibody response against BA.4/5 sub-variants than its original shot in vaccinated and boosted adults, the company said.

Read more: Health Canada approves Moderna’s bivalent COVID-19 booster for BA.4, BA.5 subvariants

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Moderna, however, said levels of neutralizing antibody response dropped nearly five-fold against the emerging sub-variant BQ.1.1 when compared with BA.4/5, in an analysis of about 40 participants, although the virus neutralizing activity still remained “robust.”

Rival Pfizer Inc. and its German partner, BioNTech, said earlier this month their Omicron-tailored shot targeting the BA.4/5 sub-variants produced a strong antibody response in older adults than the original shot after one month.

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Based on data from preclinical studies, Omicron-tailored shots made by Moderna and Pfizer have already been approved in the United States for adults as well as for children as young as five years. According to government data, nearly 31.4 million Americans had received the updated shot as of Nov. 9, with around 5.1 million getting vaccinated last week.

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