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Moderna’s Covid-19 booster shot elicits a strong antibody response against the Omicron variant of coronavirus, appearing to increase antibody levels even further than a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
The Boston-based biotech said its half-dose booster increased antibody levels 37-fold, compared with people who received just two doses, showing a similar level of immune response as when tackling the Delta variant. Two doses did induce a less robust result, down 2.9-fold against Omicron, compared with the wild type of the virus.
BioNTech and Pfizer have previously said their booster lifts antibody levels 25-fold, though the studies are not directly comparable. The pair are also preparing a shot targeted to Omicron, which it has said will be available by March.
But Stéphane Bancel, Moderna’s chief executive, on Monday said Moderna would also continue to invest in developing a vaccine targeted to the Omicron variant, in case it became necessary in the future, putting it into clinical trials early next year.