Moderna begins trial for omicron-specific COVID-19 booster shot

Moderna has announced it is conducting a study on a COVID-19 booster shot that is targeted against the omicron variant.

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Currently, the company has a COVID-19 booster for its original vaccine, but the antibodies that the booster creates against omicron decrease six months after the shot is given, Reuters reported. The antibodies, however, are still present.

Omicron accounts for about 99.9% of current coronavirus cases in the U.S.

Moderna’s vaccine will be tested on participants 18 years old and older who have had either the two-dose Moderna mRNA shot or those who have had both Moderna shots and its booster, Reuters reported.

The company expects to enroll about 300 participants in each group.

Moderna didn’t say when the results will be available, The Wall Street Journal reported. Prior vaccine studies have had results in about two months after the start of the trials.

Pfizer/BioNTech are also conducting trials on an omicron-specific vaccine.

>>Related: Pfizer begins trial for omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccine

Companies believe that a variant-specific vaccine is needed, but government officials have said that current vaccines may be enough to protect against severe cases, despite not preventing infections altogether, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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