Moderna Says New COVID Booster Effective Against Subvariants

A Jackson, Miss., resident receives a Moderna COVID-19 booster shot from a Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center nurse, at a vaccination station next to Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. More than 1,419,000 people have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Mississippi, and according to the Mississippi State Department of Health, most COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are now among unvaccinated Mississippians. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

At a glance

  • Moderna on Monday announced its updated, bivalent booster shot creates “significantly higher” antibody levels to defend against the omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants compared to the biotechnology company’s original shot formula.
  • The subvariants until recent weeks made up the majority of cases nationwide, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that share has now fallen to roughly one-third of cases.
  • The new findings, which come from a trial of more than 500 adults who were boosted under the original formula before receiving the updated shot, mark a positive sign for the new boosters, which were created by the company to more effectively combat the subvariants.

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