Moderna ‘confident’ COVID-19 variant booster will be ready by fall

Moderna is “confident” that it will be able to provide a vaccine booster against both omicron and other variants of the COVID-19 virus, the company’s top medical officer said Sunday.

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“We announced a couple weeks ago a new, variant-specific booster that we’ve been testing, and we have an additional candidate, our lead candidate, in testing now that I believe is going to be even more superior,” Moderna Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton told “Face the Nation.”

“We are confident that by the fall of this year, we should have large amounts of that new booster vaccine that will protect against omicron and other variants, and really protect Americans and people around the world as we go into the fall of 2022.”

Burton said he is encouraging people to get a booster to restore immunity as the effectiveness of the initial two doses of the vaccine wanes.

“People are eligible now to get boosted. I would absolutely recommend it,” Burton said.

Last month the company said that the booster is more effective against coronavirus variants than its current version of the vaccine.

Last week, the company announced that a coronavirus vaccine for children ages 6 and younger will be ready for review by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel in June.

Moderna sought emergency use authorization from the FDA for the drug on Thursday.

“I think the FDA now have all of the core fundamental data they need to be able to begin an application review. So yes, we’re very confident,” Burton said.