Moderna says COVID-19 booster shot may be needed this winter; WHO requests countries wait

COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna said that patients may need a booster shot this winter to give better protection against the coronavirus.

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News of the booster shot came after the company said in a release early Thursday that the vaccine was 93% effective for up to six months after a second dose; but Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said the data was collected before the delta variant spread across the country, The Hill reported.

>>Related: Coronavirus: Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine 93% effective for up to 6 months

The company said that antibody levels will “continue to wane and eventually impact vaccine efficacy,” CNBC reported.

“Given this intersection, we believe dose 3 booster will likely be necessary prior to the winter season,” the company added.

Moderna is now in a phase two trial that is testing a 50-microgram dose of three different booster shots in people who had the previous shot, CNBC reported.

The booster shots showed promising results against three variants including the current delta variant, CNBC reported.

The results of the trials have been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal, CNBC reported.

Pfizer has also said a booster may be needed, The Hill reported.

The World Health Organization has asked for a delay in booster shots until the end of September, at the earliest so supplies can be used in areas that are lacking vaccinations, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Some countries are taking steps to start booster shots soon, while the U.S. and U.K. are studying the need.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that more than 80% of vaccines worldwide have gone to richer countries, but that those countries account for less than half of the world’s population, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Moderna is also working on an annual booster shot for COVID-19 and the flu, WNBC reported, as well as RSV, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a common respiratory illness that has mild, cold-like symptoms.

“We believe that increase force of infection resulting from Delta, non-pharmaceutical intervention fatigue (NPI), and seasonal effects (moving indoors) will lead to an increase of breakthrough infections in vaccinated individuals,” the company said.

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