Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) revealed it plans to test a booster shot for its COVID-19 vaccine a year after executing the two-dose immunization as it is unclear how long the new vaccines will protect against the virus.
According to a corporate presentation, the company intends to begin the trial in July. The biotech’s clinical trial sites have already begun to reach out to early participants, as stated in an email released by one of those volunteers.
“From what we’ve seen so far, I think our expectation is that the vaccination should last you at least a year,” Moderna’s chief medical officer, Dr. Tal Zaks, told investors and analysts at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference on Monday. “To the degree that you need a booster shot, we’ll make a data-based recommendation, and that will require us getting the data.”
According to the email, at the beginning of the company’s trials, it tested several doses of the vaccine. Therefore people on lower doses than the one authorized of 100 micrograms, will receive boosters sooner and participants that were given doses of 100 micrograms or higher will get their booster after a year.
Though Moderna’s booster is the same as the vaccine currently on the market, the company’s CEO Stephane Bancel, warned it may need to be modified in the future to protect against new variants.
“I think this will become a market like flu,” Bancel said. Moderna has also commenced a seasonal flu vaccine line up as well.
During the conference, Bancel said that Moderna’s booster study will examine the outcome of the immune response of an additional shot given to a person one year later.