Moderna expects a new COVID-19 vaccine that the drugmaker is developing that it says provides protection against the Omicron variant of the virus to be ready for public distribution in August.
The company made shots of the vaccine, called mRNA-1273,214, before getting regulatory approval to be ready for fall and winter, as health experts say COVID-19 could flare up.
Clinical trial data show that Moderna’s so-called bivalent booster vaccine candidate is highly effective against the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants of the virus, which Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement “an emerging threat to global represent public health. “”
He added, “In the face of the ongoing evolution of SARS-CoV-2, we are very encouraged that mRNA-1273,214, our lead booster candidate for the fall, has shown high neutralizing titers against BA.4 and BA. 5 sub-variants, which represent an emerging threat to global public health. “
Unlike the current “monovalent” version of the vaccine, which was designed to target the original strain of the virus, Moderna’s latest vaccine is also targeted at Omicron.
“We really want to be ready for the fall season later this year,” Lavina Talukdar, head of investor relations at Moderna, said at a Goldman Sachs healthcare conference last week. “In the northern hemisphere, we think the susceptibility to infections will go up just because we’ll spend more time indoors.”
Talukdar also said the company hopes the product will be ready to ship “by the end of August, beginning of September, October-ish time frame.”