NEWS & ANALYSIS

Moderna Begins Study on Omicron-Specific Booster


Moderna announced Wednesday that it began the first study of an omicron-specific booster.

The company said the Phase 2 study of its omicron-specific booster candidate would include two trials, including one with participants who received the primary series at least six months prior, and another with participants who received the first series and a booster at least three months ago, Fox News reports.

Moderna said it expects to enroll around 300 participants into each group. 

“We are reassured by the antibody persistence against omicron at six months after the currently authorized 50 [microgram] booster of mRNA-1273. 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,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement. “We are also evaluating whether to include this omicron-specific candidate in our multivalent booster program.”

“We will continue to share data with public health authorities to help them make evidence-based decisions on the best booster strategies against SARS-CoV-2,” he added.

As previously reported by Human Events News, Pfizer announced earlier this month that they will have a COVID-19 vaccine specific to omicron and other variants by March. 

“We already have begun working on a DNA template tailored to the sequence of Omicron, a critical step in the process of advancing a variant version of our vaccine if in fact we find one is needed,” a Pfizer spokesperson told Fox News. “[We are] also manufacturing the variant vaccine at risk, as we did for Beta and Delta before.” 

The announcement came after Pfizer previously said it would be able to develop and produce a vaccine against the omicron variant in approximately 100 days, subject to regulatory approval, in the event that a booster shot is not found to protect against variants.