Moderna begins trial of Omicron-specific vaccine for adults

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Jan 27, 2022, 07:20 PM(IST)

In this file photo, vials of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine can be seen Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The trials will include a total of 600 adults. Out of these, 300 adults will be those who have already received two doses of Moderna's Covid vaccine at least six months ago

Moderna Inc has announced that it has started clinical trials of a booster dose of a vaccine that is specifically designed to fight the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The aim of the trial is to assess safety, tolerability and immune response generated by the booster dose. 

The trials will include a total of 600 adults. Out of these, 300 adults will be those who have already received two doses of Moderna's Covid vaccine at least six months ago. The other half will be those who have received two doses plus the previously authorised booster dose.

The booster will be evaluated as both a third and a fourth dose.

Moderna chief executive Stephane Bancel, in a statement, said, "We are reassured by the antibody persistence against Omicron at six months after the currently authorised. Nonetheless, given the long-term threat demonstrated by Omicron's immune escape, we are advancing our Omicron-specific variant vaccine booster candidate and we are pleased to begin this part of our Phase 2 study."

Also read | Explainer: What is the new 'stealth Omicron'?

Earlier, Moderna had claimed that its vaccine helps prevent the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.

Dr Paul Burton, Moderna's Chief Medical Officer, in an interview said, "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."

As per the company, a two-dose course of its vaccine generated low neutralising antibodies against the variant. However, a 50 microgram booster dose increased neutralising antibodies against the variant 37 fold. A 100 microgram booster dose of the same vaccine drove antibody over 80 times the pre-boost levels.

(With inputs from agencies)

Read in App