Moderna announced Monday (December 20) that a booster dose of its vaccine significantly increases antibody levels to protect against the Omicron variant.
In a statement, Moderna touted "reassuring" data from a preliminary study that shows an authorized 50-microgram booster dose of its vaccine increases antibody levels 37-fold when compared to pre-booster levels. When a full100-microgram dose was used as a booster, antibody levels increased 83-fold, the company noted.
"The dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant is concerning to all. However, these data showing that the currently authorized Modern COVID-19 booster can boost neutralizing antibody levels 37-fold higher than pre-boost levels are reassuring," Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said.
"To respond to this highly transmissible variant, Moderna will continue to rapidly advance on an Omicron-specific booster candidate into clinical testing in case it becomes necessary in the future. We will also continue to generate and share data across our booster strategies with public health authorities to help them make evidence-based decisions on the best vaccination strategies against SARS-CoV-2."
The company said it's also working on an Omicron-specific vaccine that will continue clinical trials into next year.
News of the added antibody levels comes as the number of new cases across the US and the world surge. Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday (December 19) that Omicron is "raging around the world" due to its "transmissibility capability."
Some states, including Michigan, are seeing rises in hospitalizations and local-level shut downs are beginning to go into effect. On Saturday (December 18), Saturday Night Live announced it would not be having a live studio audience at Studio 8H, citing the rise in Omicron.
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