Moderna have announced an update on their bivalent beta-containing booster vaccine candidate.
Prof Penny Ward, Independent Pharmaceutical Physician, and Visiting Professor in Pharmaceutical Medicine at King’s College London, said:
“At last some data in a pre print publication (Safety, Immunogenicity and Antibody Persistence of a Bivalent Beta-Containing Booster Vaccine | Research Square: https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-1555201/v1) demonstrating the superior immunological effect of a heterologous booster using a vaccine developed against the beta variant on top of a previously completed primary course of mRNA-1273 compared to a booster with the same vaccine. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the short term immune response against multiple virus variants is better when using the variant booster than the same variant booster, and there is a measure of sustained response over a 6 month period post booster albeit a reduction in absolute antibody level compared to 1 month post booster. These data tend to support the conclusion that the time has come to use variant vaccines to boost response among the already vaccinated population, particularly with a view to increasing the breadth of protection against a greater range of variants. It would be good to see data from studies of other variant vaccine boosters to compare to this information. Although its early in the year, JCVI must already be thinking about the population at risk and the vaccines which will be needed to reduce the need for hospitalisation due to covid and to influenza during the winter months in the UK.”
All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:
Prof Penny Ward: “I am semi-retired, but I am owner/Director of PWG Consulting (Biopharma) Ltd a consulting firm advising companies on drug and device development. Between December 2016 and July 2019 I served as Chief Medical Officer of Virion Biotherapeutics Ltd, a company developing antiviral treatments for respiratory viral diseases. Previous employee of Roche, makers of tocilizumab (anti IL6 antibody) and CMO of Novimmune, makers of empalumab (anti IFN gamma antibody).”