Moderna is seeking FDA authorization for an Omicron booster dose

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Moderna has said it will seek a license for an updated coronavirus vaccine designed to protect against the omicron sub variants that the company has described as a “lead candidate” for the fall booster, but it remains unclear how effective the vaccine will be against the latest versions of the omicron variant. spread in the United States.

Preliminary data released by the company on Wednesday showed that the omicron-targeted coronavirus booster filter produces 1.75 times the neutralizing antibody against the winter-circulated version of the omicron, known as BA.1, compared to its current vaccine.

But the omicron variant has mutated so quickly that many new sub variants have emerged that are better at evading the immune system’s defences. Two of those, known as BA.4 and BA.5, are now responsible for 13 percent of new coronavirus cases in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in new estimates. It is not clear whether BA.4 and BA.5 will become dominant in the coming months or whether the immunity present in the population to infections and vaccines will limit their spread.

Biden administration officials said they are preparing for a fall-winter wave that could see 100 million coronavirus infections and a potentially large number of deaths, driven by the Omicron sub-variables. This makes it even more important that more effective vaccines are available, especially to protect the elderly and the most vulnerable.

Moderna executives said in a call Wednesday that they are confident that the updated vaccine will still provide additional protection against new Omicron sub variants, even though researchers have tested its booster dose against BA.1. even if updated The booster offers less protection against later omicron sub-variants than BA.1, and is likely to remain more effective against it than the company’s current booster, said Moderna president Stephen Hoge.

“We are very confident that this vaccine will provide benefit even against the omicron subfamily of variants,” Hogg said on a media call with reporters.

Shortly after the omicron variant was identified in South Africa late last year, Moderna said it was developing clips specifically designed to combat the variant. Pfizer and BioNTech have announced the same plan, although they have yet to release data on their updated vaccine.

Moderna releases data to support its fall vaccine strategy

Moderna said data from the latest clinical trial, which included 437 participants, showed that Moderna’s booster targeting the omicron likely provides long-term protection against variants a month later, compared to previous versions of the coronavirus vaccine.

The company said the booster “was generally well-tolerated,” with side effects similar to those of previous boosters.

The White House has been pressing Congress for more than $20 billion for the coronavirus response for months. Lawmakers have yet to approve new funding.

The official number of new daily coronavirus infections is slowly increasing in the United States, although the actual numbers are believed to be much higher because many people are testing themselves at home. The country has recorded a 38 percent increase in new cases over the past week, according to numbers compiled by the Washington Post, as protection from booster shots and previous infections wanes and more people go about their lives without masks.

Globally, cases of the novel coronavirus are still declining after the omicron variant caused tens of millions of new cases worldwide, increasing infections during the winter.

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