Moderna states that the vaccine appears to be effective against new variants of coronavirus, but less for one. The study did not show any significant impact on the neutralizing power of the vaccine against the B117 variant. Compared to previous variants, there was a six-fold decrease in neutralizing ability for the B1351 variant. The company is currently developing an alternative version of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for booster shots.
The results are from a study carried out at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the U.S., in cooperation with the Vaccine Research Center. National Health Institutes. The firm said the manuscript was submitted to bio-Rxiv as a preprint and will be submitted for peer-reviewed publication. The research was conducted by the firm and the NIH.
Dr. Paul Offit says, “It is a little worrisome that you see a lesser neutralizing antibody response,” The immune response of the body is also much more than just antibodies, Bogoch noted. To keep up with changing viruses, vaccines will probably need updates ‘periodically,’ he says. “Every year, we update our influenza vaccine to really tie in to what the circulating strain is,” says Bogoch.
The objective of this vaccine is to “to keep you out of the hospital and to keep you out of the morgue,” adds Offit. The current slate of known variants of coronavirus is an issue, but so are those that may develop in the future.