Moderna plans COVID booster by August not sure yet if Omicron-specific booster is required

CIO Review Europe | Sunday, February 28, 2021

An Omicron-specific booster could be ready by August, but the firm is still gathering clinical data to determine whether that vaccine would offer better protection than a new dose of the existing jab

FREMONT, CA: Moderna started clinical trials for an Omicron-specific booster dosage last month, but preliminary data from studies reveal that the Omicron-specific shot may not provide better protection than a new dose of the old vaccine. In an interview, the Moderna chief executive announced that the company had aimed to have a booster ready by August 2022, as more vulnerable people might need it. Moderna's vaccines use mRNA technology to elicit an immunological response, compared to Pfizer/BioNTech's injection.

Experts believe that a booster dose is the need of the hour. However, a final decision would be made once the clinical data is available. Moderna also indicated that under the best-case scenario, a so-called pan-vaccine that protects against COVID-19, flu, and other respiratory disorders would be ready by August 2023.

According to UNICEF, a United Nations body involved in the provision of vaccines to impoverished countries, Moderna charges varying fees for different regions of the world, ranging from $15 to $37.  Moderna, on the other hand, announced ambitions to expand its European commercial network to boost sales on the continent. Commercial offices in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom will be supplemented by these new European subsidiaries. Moderna intends to open commercial offices in Belgium, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden to facilitate the local supply of mRNA vaccines and medicines, according to a release. In addition, Moderna is expanding its business footprint in Asia.

Moderna manufactures vaccines throughout Europe in collaboration with Lonza (LONN.S) in Switzerland and the Netherlands, ROVI (ROVI.MC) in Spain, and Recipharm in France. Last year, the company supplied more than 800 million COVID-19 shots around the world, and it has agreements with EU countries to supply up to 460 million doses. Moderna is also developing mRNA therapeutics to treat a variety of ailments, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and uncommon genetic diseases, in addition to immunizations.

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