(WXYZ) — Moderna says preliminary data found its COVID-19 booster shot increased antibodies to levels that can help protect against omicron. The company also tested a larger dose that produced even higher antibody levels. Moderna’s booster dose is 50-micrograms.
I’m quite happy to share the positive results of Moderna’s study. The company announced that its booster dose increased neutralizing antibody levels by 37-fold. That’s pretty good. Now, the 50-micrograms booster dose as previously mentioned is a half-dose. So what Moderna also did, was they tested a full dose – 100 micrograms – to see how well it did as a potential booster. And what they found, was the larger dose increased neutralizing antibody levels by 83-fold – that’s pretty powerful. Now you might be wondering about side effects. Safety data found that the 100-microgram dose was safe and well-tolerated. But, it appeared to cause more adverse reactions when compared to the current authorized 50 microgram dose that people are getting now. So could this larger dose become a booster in the future? It’s possible but Moderna is also testing other different dosing amounts. And no data has been released yet as they’re still in clinical trials. But this is good news overall.
Moderna says they’re working on a specific booster for omicron, even though Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says one is not needed. I hope this won't discourage people from getting the booster. Right now, only a third of Americans have got a booster shot. That’s just not enough. Omicron is very contagious. And I’m really concerned about what may lie ahead for America and the world.
As for Moderna creating a specific booster for omicron, the company is doing this just in case one is needed. Advanced clinical trials for this shot would not start until early 2022. Which means a specific booster is still months away. I don’t expect we’d see it approved before spring, that is if the FDA and CDC decide that an omicron-specific booster is needed.
So there are plenty of opportunities for this new variant to wreak havoc on families and communities. I know people have heard that it may be mild. But we are still learning about omicron. And while it may be causing mild cases in South Africa, the population there is younger. While here in America, we have an older population. And older folks don’t often do so well with the virus. Plus, we’re seeing more breakthrough infections with this new variant. So once again, I encourage folks to do as I did. And that’s get vaccinated and then get boosted. That’s the best way to fight off omicron.
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