Dec 20, 2021 - Health

Moderna says booster dose effective against Omicron

A health care worker preparing a dose of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine in Germany on December.
A health care worker preparing a dose of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine in Germany on December. Photo: Frank Rumpenhorst/picture alliance via Getty Images

Moderna said Monday that a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine protects against the Omicron variant of the virus more effectively than a two-dose regimen.

Why it matters: Omicron has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines against this new strain of the coronavirus.

  • Pfizer and BioNTech also said earlier this month that their booster doses produce stronger immunity against the variant than just two shots.

By the numbers: Moderna said a booster dose of 50 micrograms, roughly half of what is administered during the first two doses, increased the level of antibodies present by roughly 37-fold.

  • A booster dose of 100 micrograms increased the level of antibodies present by about 83-fold.

What they're saying: "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," Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement.

Go deeper: The United Kingdom's Omicron warning for America

Go deeper