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New COVID Booster Candidate Outperforms Latest Sub-variant – Moderna

Moderna announced on Wednesday that its new COVID booster candidate, which it hopes to get approved this fall, outperformed Omicron’s latest sub-variants.

The US biotech company announced earlier this month that its “bivalent” vaccine, which targets both the original Covid strain and the original Omicron BA.1, outperformed its original Covid vaccine, Spikevax.

According to new clinical study results, the booster also performed well against BA.4 and BA.5, Omicron’s latest sub-variants that are becoming dominant due to their increased ability to evade prior immunity and enhanced transmissibility.

The bivalent booster elicited high levels of infection-blocking antibodies against BA.4 and BA.5 in both previously infected and uninfected people.

Even so, those high levels were still one-third of those obtained against the original Omicron strain, BA.1.

“We will urgently submit these data to regulators and are preparing to supply our next generation bivalent booster beginning in August, ahead of a potential increase in SARS-CoV-2 infections due to Omicron sub-variants in the early fall,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement.

The BA.4 and BA.5 variants wreaked havoc in South Africa in April and May, despite high population immunity conferred by previous waves and vaccinations.

They, like other Omicron variants, have a milder disease course because they settle in the upper nasal passages rather than the lungs, causing symptoms such as fever, tiredness, and loss of smell.

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Moderna announced on Wednesday that its new COVID booster candidate, which it hopes to get approved this fall, outperformed Omicron’s latest sub-variants.

The US biotech company announced earlier this month that its “bivalent” vaccine, which targets both the original Covid strain and the original Omicron BA.1, outperformed its original Covid vaccine, Spikevax.

According to new clinical study results, the booster also performed well against BA.4 and BA.5, Omicron’s latest sub-variants that are becoming dominant due to their increased ability to evade prior immunity and enhanced transmissibility.

The bivalent booster elicited high levels of infection-blocking antibodies against BA.4 and BA.5 in both previously infected and uninfected people.

Even so, those high levels were still one-third of those obtained against the original Omicron strain, BA.1.

“We will urgently submit these data to regulators and are preparing to supply our next generation bivalent booster beginning in August, ahead of a potential increase in SARS-CoV-2 infections due to Omicron sub-variants in the early fall,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement.

The BA.4 and BA.5 variants wreaked havoc in South Africa in April and May, despite high population immunity conferred by previous waves and vaccinations.

They, like other Omicron variants, have a milder disease course because they settle in the upper nasal passages rather than the lungs, causing symptoms such as fever, tiredness, and loss of smell.

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Our newsletter gives you access to a curated selection of the most important stories daily.

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