Moderna’s omicron booster was solely nearly as good as present vaccine in monkey research

Extreme close-up photo of a gloved hand holding a tiny jar.

Enlarge / A vial of the present Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. (credit score: Getty | Ivan Romano)

In a small group of monkeys, an omicron-specific model of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine didn’t shield towards the omicron variant higher than Moderna’s present, extremely efficient booster. This discovering casts doubt on whether or not a swap to variant-specific doses is important.

The research was led by researchers on the Nationwide Institutes of Well being and posted on a preprint server final Friday. The research has not been peer-reviewed or revealed in a scientific journal. It additionally has all the constraints of an animal research and solely concerned eight monkeys. The research’s findings must be verified in human trials, that are presently underway.

Nonetheless, there’s good cause to assume the discovering will maintain up. Because the authors of the research notice, this is not Moderna’s first variant-specific booster. The corporate had beforehand developed a booster towards the regarding variant beta. As with the omicron-specific booster, the beta-booster did not outperform the unique vaccine at defending primates from beta. And that discovering later held up in human trials.

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