HealthDay News — Moderna Inc. announced that its COVID-19 vaccine booster shot significantly increased antibodies against the omicron variant.

“The dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases from the omicron variant is concerning to all. However, these data showing that the currently authorized Moderna COVID-19 booster can boost neutralizing antibody levels 37-fold higher than preboost levels are reassuring,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel, said in a company statement.

Moderna also noted that a dose double the size of a normal booster, equivalent to that used in the main shots and in the third dose given primarily to immunocompromised people, raised antibody levels by 83 times.

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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,” Bancel added. “We will also continue to generate and share data across our booster strategies with public health authorities to help them make evidence-based decisions on the best vaccination strategies against SARS-CoV-2.”

Experts agree that booster shots are the best defense against the omicron variant, but only 60.2 million of nearly 204 million fully vaccinated Americans have gotten the extra shot, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show. The CDC recommends a third full shot of the vaccine for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, such as those undergoing cancer treatment, taking immunosuppressants, or living with advanced or untreated HIV.

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