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Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) is planning to test the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots a year after initial doses of the vaccine have been administered to an individual, CNBC reported Thursday.
What Happened: The biotech company expects to begin the booster study in adult participants in July, its CEO Stéphane Bancel disclosed in a corporate presentation at the 39th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Monday.
Moderna Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks said at the conference the company expects the immunity generated from the vaccine to last at least a year, CNBC reported. Zaks added that Moderna would make a “data-based recommendation” on the degree to which booster shots might be needed.
The first participants in the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial received their shots in March, CNBC noted. Those who received less than the 100 micrograms dose authorized ultimately by the Food and Drug Administration will receive their booster trial shot earlier than a year, while those who received shots of 100 micrograms or more will be administered the booster dose at the one year mark.
Why It Matters: Moderna COVID-19 vaccine received the FDA emergency use authorization in December and is the only such authorized vaccine currently besides Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX)’s candidate.
Medical experts have been looking into how long the neutralizing antibodies generated by COVID-19 vaccines would last.
Preliminary analysis in a relatively small study by the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that — for some in the older population — the immunization could last less than a year, as reported by Forbes.
Bancel earlier this month said Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine could provide protection for a couple of years but added more data was needed to make a definite statement, as reported by Reuters.
Price Action: Moderna shares closed 4.5% higher at $129.72 on Thursday. The shares added another 0.6% in the after-hours session.
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