Moderna booster increases neutralising antibodies against Omicron, study finds

Moderna Booster Increases Neutralising Antibodies Against Omicron, Study Finds
Moderna vaccine, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Jane Kirby, PA Health Editor

A booster dose of the Moderna vaccine increases neutralising antibodies against the Omicron coronavirus variant around 37-fold, the firm has announced.

Moderna said its preliminary data looking at Omicron was “reassuring”, though it will continue to develop a jab specific to the variant.


The data showed that 50mcg of the Moderna vaccine (the half-dose used for boosters) increased neutralising antibody levels against Omicron approximately 37-fold compared to pre-boost levels, while a full dose increased it 83-fold.

The new data included blood samples from 20 people given a Moderna boost of 50mcg or 100mcg, with the results analysed at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) Vaccine Research Centre at Duke University Medical Centre.


All groups had low neutralising antibody levels to Omicron before receiving a booster and were looked at again 29 days after the booster jab.

Antibodies are not the only part of the immune system to tackle coronavirus.

Experts believe that T cell immunity, which is harder to measure, also plays a key role in preventing severe disease.

The Moderna half-dose is used in the UK due to the increased risk of side effects following a full dose. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also recommends that Moderna is given as a half-dose booster.


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