‘Reassuring’ data show Moderna booster increases Omicron antibodies

Biotechnology company Moderna says preliminary data suggest a booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine significantly raises antibody levels against Omicron. The increase, compared with levels seen in fully vaccinated people without a booster, was even more significant for a higher-dose booster, the company said on Monday. The company said its 50-microgram booster dose increased antibody levels 37-fold and a 100-microgram booster dose increased antibody levels 83-fold compared with levels seen before a booster. READ MORE: Sydney teenager fined $35k for breaching COVID-19 restrictions, sparking Byron Bay lockdown Moderna's booster is administered as a 50-microgram dose in both the United States and Australia — half the dose used for the first two jabs according to the Therapeutic Goods Administration. It remains unclear what these increases mean as far as how well the booster doses clinically work against Omicron. But in the company's statement, CEO Stéphane Bancel called the data ..

Biotechnology company Moderna says preliminary data suggest a booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine significantly raises antibody levels against Omicron.

The increase, compared with levels seen in fully vaccinated people without a booster, was even more significant for a higher-dose booster, the company said on Monday.

The company said its 50-microgram booster dose increased antibody levels 37-fold and a 100-microgram booster dose increased antibody levels 83-fold compared with levels seen before a booster.

READ MORE: Sydney teenager fined $35k for breaching COVID-19 restrictions, sparking Byron Bay lockdown

Moderna vaccines will be made in Melbourne.

Moderna's booster is administered as a 50-microgram dose in both the United States and Australia — half the dose used for the first two jabs according to the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

It remains unclear what these increases mean as far as how well the booster doses clinically work against Omicron.

But in the company's statement, CEO Stéphane Bancel called the data "reassuring".

"The dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant is concerning to all," he said.

"However, these data showing that the currently authorised Moderna COVID-19 booster can boost neutralising antibody levels 37-fold higher than pre-boost levels are reassuring."

READ MORE: Emergency National Cabinet meeting called for Wednesday due to COVID-19 surge

Moderna vaccines will be made in Melbourne.

Mr Bancel said the company would continue to generate and share booster strategy data with public health officials.

According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, about 32 per cent of fully vaccinated adults have received a booster dose so far.

A little more than 1.3 million boosters have been administered in Australia.

Moderna and other vaccine makers have said that they are working on variant-specific booster shots as well.

"To respond to this highly transmissible variant, Moderna will continue to rapidly advance an Omicron-specific booster candidate into clinical testing in case it becomes necessary in the future," Mr Bancel said on Monday.

READ MORE: Isolation rules relax for Omicron close contacts

Anthony Fauci said anyone who has tested positive to COVID-19 ought to quarantine.

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said COVID-19 booster shots could help improve protection against the Omicron coronavirus variant and there was no need for a variant-specific booster dose at this time.

"A number of studies have been done throughout the country and the world to take a look at how we might prepare in the context of vaccinations," he said during a virtual White House briefing on Wednesday.

"The message remains clear: If you are unvaccinated, get vaccinated.

"And particularly in the arena of Omicron, if you are fully vaccinated, get your booster shot."

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