A study published Sept. 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) makes a strong case for an Omicron-based COVID-19 booster shot.
But first, a caveat: There are no data available yet demonstrating the effectiveness of the new Omicron booster authorized on Aug. 31, which protects against BA.4 and BA.5. The new study, conducted by Moderna, involves the company’s first combined vaccine that never came to market; it targets both the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and an earlier version of the Omicron variant, BA.1.
It’s data that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relied on heavily in deciding whether to authorize the combination booster that targets the original virus and the latest Omicron variants, BA.4 and BA.5. Human studies involving the new authorized boosters from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have just begun and won’t be completed for another few months.
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