MPA | Pharmacy News

The outlook for a better COVID-19 vaccine — one that can defend against new mutations — is improving, with early findings showing that Moderna's reformulated product provides more robust protection than the original. Study results that have yet to be peer-reviewed suggest the bivalent vaccine candidate, which couples the company's existing vaccine with one designed to combat the Beta strain, is more effective not only against Beta but also against the Delta and Omicron variants.

Volunteers who received a booster with the bivalent vaccine generated twice as many anti-Omicron antibodies as volunteers who received a booster with the existing Moderna vaccine. Protection from the reconfigured vaccine was more durable against Omicron, lasting for 6 months, although the same could not be said for Delta. Still, the results are promising, and Moderna is testing yet another reformulation it believes will be even more effective. Those results should be available this spring, even as other scientists from both the public and private sector also pursue redesigned vaccines.

The hope is to have a better offering before this fall, when another surge in cases is anticipated.

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