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A box of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Indonesia. Photo: Algi Febri Sugita/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Moderna vaccine's efficacy declines a year after it's administered, compared to protection seen in recently inoculated individuals, the vaccine maker announced Wednesday.

Driving the news: Moderna made its case for supporting booster shots, citing clinical trial data that demonstrate breakthrough infections are less common among participants approximately eight months after receiving the first dose compared to approximately 13 months.

  • Moderna's phase 3 clinical trial looked at breakthrough cases from July to August 2021.
  • The study documented 162 breakthrough cases in the participant group vaccinated over a year ago, while only 88 occurred in the group vaccinated during the early part of this year.

The big picture: The Biden administration is hoping to offer booster shots eight months after a second dose beginning this month.

Why it matters: Booster shots have become a source of controversy. Vaccine makers such as Pfizer are in support of making them widely available while some medical ethicists and scientists are skeptical, per Axios' Bob Herman.

  • “The increased risk of breakthrough infections in [phase 3] study participants who were vaccinated last year compared to more recently illustrates the impact of waning immunity and supports the need for a booster to maintain high levels of protection," said Moderna's CEO Stéphane Bancel.
  • In a paper written in The Lancet, scientists — including two FDA vaccine leaders — wrote that "current vaccine supplies could save more lives if used in previously unvaccinated populations than if used as boosters in vaccinated populations."

Go deeper

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

Illinois mandates daycare workers to receive COVID vaccine or weekly testing

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a round table discussion with high school students in October 2018. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced Friday that all daycare workers in the state will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or or submit to weekly testing.

Driving the news: Pritzker said he was issuing the requirement to protect "babies, toddlers, and young children not yet eligible for the vaccine."

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5–11

Charles Muro, 13, is inoculated at Hartford Healthcare's mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday released its plan to vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 11, pending authorization from the FDA of the first COVID-19 shot for that age group.

The big picture: The White House said it has secured enough vaccine supply to equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, hundreds of school and community health clinics, and tens of thousands of pharmacies to administer the shots.

How one local leader is pushing for COVID boosters

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

At the Triangle View Apartments on B Street SE, Beatrice Evans, 68, is helping her neighbors get their shots.

On Oct. 27, Evans, the building’s tenant association president, is organizing a vaccine clinic to offer COVID-19 booster shots to the residents, largely Black seniors.

Why it matters: 49 of the 50 D.C. residents who since June have died of COVID-19 were Black, according to an analysis of DC Health data first reported by DCist.