Aug 5, 2021 - Health

Moderna: COVID-19 vaccine 93% effective through 6 months

Picture of gloved hands holding a syringe and a vial of the Moderna vaccine
Photo: Sebastian Barros/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Moderna said Thursday that its coronavirus vaccine was 93% effective against COVID-19 through six months after receiving the second dose.

Why it matters: The number shows that efficacy "remains durable" through that time, and hardly wanes from the 94.5% efficacy Moderna reported last November. But the clinical trial, which started in July 2020, was conducted before the Delta variant became the common strain in the U.S.

What they're saying: "We are pleased that our COVID-19 vaccine is showing durable efficacy of 93% through six months, but recognize that the Delta variant is a significant new threat so we must remain vigilant," Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said.

Details: The company said that candidates who received a booster shot during a phase 2 trial produced "robust antibody responses" against the Delta and Gamma variants.

  • “Given this intersection, we believe dose 3 booster will likely be necessary prior to the winter season,” Moderna wrote, per CNBC.

Bancel said that the company is working to create a "a single dose annual booster" that protects against the virus, the flu and the respiratory syncytial virus for adults.

Yes, but: The World Health Organization on Wednesday asked countries to hold off on offering booster shots through at least September in order to allow for poorer countries to have access to doses.

  • In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration does not yet recommend getting a third vaccine dose.

What to watch: Moderna said it expects to finish its vaccine application for full approval from the FDA this month.

Go deeper