Omicron Booster Efficiency: Why Experts Believe They’ll Work

One research published September 16 in New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) makes a strong case for an Omicron-based COVID-19 booster shot.

But first, a note: There are currently no data proving the effectiveness of the new Omicron enhancer Authorised on August 31, protect against BA.4 and BA.5. New research conducted by Moderna involves the company’s first combination vaccine that has never been released to the market; it targets both the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and an earlier version of the Omicron variant, BA.1. That’s the data the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rely heavily on to decide whether to authorize a result enhancer. combination targeting the original virus and the latest Omicron variants, BA.4 and BA or not. .5. Human studies involving the newly authorized boosters from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have just begun and will not be completed for several more months.

Data provided by Moderna inside NEJM research is the best proxy we have right now to know how well the new boosters work and promising results. In the study, more than 800 volunteers received either a booster dose of Moderna’s initial shot against SARS-CoV-2 or a booster dose of a divalent enhancer against both the parent strain and Omicron BA. .first. All people in the study received a primary vaccination consisting of two doses of Moderna and a booster shot prior to the start of the study.

Read more: COVID-19 Boosters help prevent people from going to the hospital, study results

About a month after the injection, people who received the bivalent booster showed higher levels of antibodies against the virus than those who received the initial booster. The generated antibodies can also better bind to and neutralize not only the parent virus and the BA.1 virus but also nearly all other known variants, including Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron BA.4 and BA. 5.

Pfizer-BioNTech — also produced the unreleased bivalent BA.1 vaccine—report similarly encouraging results for its bidirectional BA.1 enhancer before the FDA’s vaccine expert committee last June, but have yet to publish those results in a scientific journal. At the FDA meeting (where Moderna also presented its BA.1 bivalent data), Pfizer-BioNTech presented data from a study involving more than 300 people 55 years of age and older who received it. dual chemotherapy boosters. Those who received it produced significantly higher levels of antibodies against BA.1, as well as BA.4 and BA.5 than those who received the original booster. However, the levels of antibodies against BA.4 and BA.5 were lower than those produced against BA.1. Research has also shown that side effects associated with the bivalent Omicron BA.1 vaccine are similar to those associated with the parent vaccine.

As more and more people roll up their sleeves for the new Omicron booster, data on how effectively the vaccine protects people not only from serious illness but also from infection, will become apparent. The researchers will also look at how long that protection lasts. It is hoped that a better combination of a booster vaccine with a circulating strain will provide more long-term protection for everyone and lead to vaccinations every year, rather than more frequently.

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