Omicron taking over as the dominant strain of COVID; Moderna says its booster is effective against omicron

Health

(WTNH) – Drugmaker Moderna is claiming its COVID vaccine booster offers protection against the spiking omicron variant. It released lab tests today.

With original vaccine protection waning and this variant raging, doctors are urging everyone eligible now more than ever to get a COVID booster shot.

“It is startling how rapidly this is spreading. Honestly, it’s spreading faster than many of us would have expected. We’ve seen across the country case rates doubling every two to three days,” said Yale Medicine Dr. F. Perry Wilson. “Omicron is a tough one, it does break through immunity, not uncommonly, more so than any other variant we’ve had.”

Moderna’s level of booster protection is welcome news to doctors who have spent more than a year treating COVID patients.

“Regardless of what vaccine you had to start with, increased the amount of neutralizing antibodies against omicron, those are the good effective antibodies, by about fortyfold, which is a lot,” Wilson said.

WEB EXTRA: Full interview — Dr. F. Perry Wilson discusses the omicron variant, new data about Moderna’s booster and how healthcare workers are holding up as we brace for a new wave

Moderna said its new data shows that increased protection within a month of getting its booster. The drug maker’s CEO said they’re now preparing for potential seasonal shots as well as working on an omicron-specific booster.

“We believe we’re going to be living with this virus, and its strains and variants forever at this point, and we need to continue to think about the best ways to provide the broadest and most durable immune response,” said Stephen Hoge, president of Moderna.

Earlier this month, Pfizer announced that its vaccine was able to neutralize the omicron variant after three doses.

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