CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine works against emerging COVID-19 variants, the Cambridge-based biotechnology company announced Monday.
The vaccine retains neutralizing activity against new virus variants that were first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa, studies on a number of people who received the vaccine indicate.
“Vaccination with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine produced neutralizing titers against all key emerging variants tested, including B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, first identified in the UK and Republic of South Africa, respectively,” the company said in a news release. “The study showed no significant impact on neutralizing titers against the B.1.1.7 variant relative to prior variants.”
The two-dose regimen of the vaccine is expected to be protective against all emerging strains, according to Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel.
“We are encouraged by these new data, which reinforce our confidence that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine should be protective against these newly detected variants,” Bancel said.
Researchers did find a six-fold drop in levels of “neutralizing antibodies” against the strain from South Africa but Moderna noted that the levels still were protective.
Out of an abundance of caution, Moderna has launched a clinical program to test a possible booster dose against the strain discovered in South Africa.
Two cases of the more infectious coronavirus variant found in the United Kingdom have been confirmed in Massachusetts.
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