According to the World Health Organization, Omicron, a highly contagious variant has raced around the world and been reported in 89 countries.
The Guardian is reporting that vaccine manufacturer Moderna has advised that a booster dose of its Covid vaccine appeared to protect against the fast-spreading Omicron variant in laboratory testing and that the current version will continue to be its “first line of defense against Omicron”.
Dr Paul Burton, Moderna’s chief medical officer, said: “What we have available right now is 1273. It’s highly effective and extremely safe. I think it will protect people through the coming holiday period and through these winter months, when we’re going to see the most severe pressure of Omicron.”
According to the Guardian, the data, which has not yet been peer reviewed, tested blood from people. The company said a two-dose course of its vaccine generated low neutralizing antibodies against Omicron but a 50µg booster dose increased neutralizing antibodies against the variant 37-fold. A higher, 100µg booster dose of the same vaccine drove antibody levels even higher – more than 80 times pre-boost levels. ho had received the vaccine against a pseudovirus engineered to resemble the variant.
Burton said it would be for governments and regulators to gauge whether they wanted the enhanced level of protection that a 100µg dose might confer.