Moderna working on a booster shot to target the omicron variant

The targeted booster is set to be available in late 2022, with multiple countries already buying in.

Moderna CEO, Stephane Bancel announced on Monday that the company is "working very actively" on a booster that targets the omicron variant. “We are discussing with public health leaders around the world to decide what we think is the best strategy for the potential booster for the fall of 2022. We believe it will contain omicron,” added Bancel. Moderna stated that the booster will soon be entering clinical trials, whether the shot will contain additional components that will aid in the fights against the virus is still under discussion. Purchase agreements have been signed with South Korea, Switzerland and the United Kingdom along with upfront payments of $18.5 billion. The shots are set to be available in late 2022 with Moderna aiming to supply 2 to 3 billion doses this year.

“We need to be careful to try to stay ahead of a virus and not behind the virus,” stated Bancel. According to a recent study by the U.K Health Security Agency, real-world data showed that boosters are 75% effective against the omicron variant. Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO has announced the company’s plan to release a booster targeted at omicron, however he noted that it’s uncertain if it’s necessary. The White House chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci stated that he did not see the need for an omicron-specific vaccine, he added that the “booster vaccine regimens work against omicron.” "The message remains clear: If you are unvaccinated, get vaccinated, and particularly in the arena of omicron, if you are fully vaccinated, get your booster shot," Fauci stated.