On Wednesday, Moderna said it had begun mid-stage research, testing a booster dose of its coronavirus jab specifically considered to target the more virulent Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, one day after competitor Pfizer launched a comparative trial. Both jabs are based on messenger-RNA technology, which makes it comparatively easy to update them to sustain with mutations specific to newly emerging versions of COVID-19.
The Drug Company said while a third dose of its current COVID-19 vaccine improved neutralizing antibodies against the infectious variant at the lower dose, their levels waned 6-months after the booster shot was administered.
Additionally, after 6-months after the booster shot, the levels of neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron declined by sixfold from the top observed 29-days after the booster; however, Moderna said that neutralizing antibodies remained detectable in all recipients. The data was gained by studying the blood of twenty people who got the 50-mcg booster shot, half of the amount of the initial doses.
Furthermore, the clinical trials will involve around six hundred adults, 300 of whom have gotten two doses of Moderna’s coronavirus jab at least 6-months before. And the other 300 have gotten two doses and the formerly approved booster dose.
The additional dose specifically targeting the highly contagious Omicron will therefore be assessed as both a 3rd and a 4th shot. Moreover, the pharmaceutical firm reported results on the efficacy against omicron of the booster that has already been authorized.
In the statement, Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s CEO, said that they’re reassured by the immunity persistence against Omicron at 6-months after the previously authorized booster shot. Bancel added that, nonetheless, given the long-lasting threat demonstrated by highly omicron’s immune escape, they’re improving their Omicron-targeted vaccine booster candidate, and they’re satisfied to commence this part of their Phase II study.
America Ships 2M COVID-19 Jab Doses to Morocco, Kenya
The White House said Wednesday that America would soon deliver over 2M Pfizer’s COVID-19 doses to the African countries of Morocco and Kenya. As the President stated, the U.S. will be the arsenal of coronavirus jabs in their battle against the fatal disease caused by SARS-CoV-2; they’re proud to be able to send these effective jabs to the people of Morocco and Kenya.
On Wednesday, Jen Psaki said that at the moment, they hit a key milestone in their worldwide effort to be the arsenal of COVID-19 vaccines: 400M doses transported to 112 nations for free, with no strings attached. She added that to put Unites States’ leadership into perspective, they’ve transported fourfold more free vaccines doses to the world than any other nation.
Moreover, Psaki said this’s on top of their determination to expand production at home and out of the country, their close partnerships with drug companies to provide their jabs to hard-hit areas, and their work to turn vaccines into immunizations globally.
In the newest round of donations, Kenya will get 517140 shots of the 2-dose vaccine produced by Pfizer. And Morocco will receive 1599390 COVID-19 doses. The donations will be distributed through COVAX. The White House told media that legal, scientific, and regulatory teams are coordinating to confirm the quick delivery of safe and effective jabs in both African countries. These new doses come from the 0.5 Bn doses secured by the U.S. President’s government over the summer.