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Moderna says its COVID booster increases protection against omicron

Medical staff and volunteers prepare shots of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Ramsgate, England, on Thursday.
Leon Neal
/
AP

Moderna said Monday that preliminary data showed that its COVID-19 booster shot is effective against the omicron variant of the coronavirus currently surging in the U.S. and around the world.

The pharmaceutical company said its current FDA-authorized, 50-microgram booster shot increases antibody levels against omicron 37-fold compared to pre-booster levels.

Research also showed a 100-microgram booster dose gave an even higher level of protection — an 83-fold increase in neutralizing antibody levels, Moderna said.

The news of Moderna's findings adds more scientific backing to the idea that booster shots are an effective way to offer continued protection against the coronavirus, especially with the growing omicron variant.

"The dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant is concerning to all. However, these data showing that the currently authorized Moderna COVID-19 booster can boost neutralizing antibody levels 37-fold higher than pre-boost levels are reassuring," said Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna.

The company said it is continuing to work to develop an omicron-specific booster.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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