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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

Oct 16, 2021 - Health

5 times as many police officers have died from COVID as from guns since pandemic began

Photo: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for police officers even though members of law enforcement were among the first to be eligible to receive the vaccine, CNN reports, citing data from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Why it matters: Nearly 476 police officers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, compared to the 93 deaths as a result of gunfire in the same time period, according to ODMP and CNN.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP senator calls for senility test for aging leaders

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an "Axios on HBO" interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.

Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 ... Speaker Pelosi, 81 ...  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 ... and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO blames predecessors for manufacturing woes

Axios on HBO

When it comes to Intel's recent manufacturing problems, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger places the blame squarely on his predecessors — many of whom he notes were not engineers deeply steeped in chip technology, as he is.

Why it matters: Gelsinger has announced a broad plan to reinvigorate Intel by doubling down on manufacturing. However, the strategy depends on the venerable semiconductor giant recovering from recent stumbles.